It is that time of the year again. School Board elections will be happening in a few weeks. For the voter, the process is confusing. Many sides have many objectives to influence an election.The objective for the Superintendent is simple. He/She needs a 5-4 majority for the agenda to succeed, and in many cases to get their contract renewed.
Teacher's unions also are invested. How candidates impact future negotiations can be a factor. This is why they endorse future candidates. In low turnout communities, teacher unions can greatly influence election outcomes based on the percentage of voter turnout.
So what makes a good candidate? Many factors. Endorsements are key. Follow the money trail. Who benefits from the election? Another key factor is relationships. Some local papers will ask if the candidate is related to anyone in the district. Great question for this leads to bias. For example, can a relative or spouse be objective when it comes to a vote that might cause harm to a family member in the coming years?
Some other factors to consider: Does the candidate hold a grudge? Have there been any disciplinary actions towards their children? Are they amicable or determined to undermine the board of education in the following years? Are they a one issue candidate? Do they worry only about taxes and not enough about education?
In NYS, Board Of Education elections are complicated. We may see a change in the coming years to the Board of Education electoral process. Until then, voter beware.