Monday, June 2, 2008

The Accountability blog outlines the coordinated politicization of the school board selection process and big PCE money poured into races

The Accountability blog posts about the voucher referendum last year inspired me to start blogging and try and make a difference too.

Now the blog has gone back and written an easy-to-understand timeline of how the State School board selction process has changed since 1992, and since 2002 become a joke where the governor just picks people to be on the ballot from a list of committee recommendations, including one case where they didn't choose the incumbent, effectively barring that school board member from running from re-election.

The author also went through the burdensome campaign contribution lists and found that PCE directly contributed over $30,000 dollars to two school board races, where spending $2000 or less is the norm, in 2006. Now we have a record slate of school board candidates as PCE has put candidates into the race in every district, sometimes multiple in the same district. What exactly are they trying to accomplish?

The posts aren't extremely long. Read them and keep an eye open. 2009 is not an election year, and all of those newly "safe" incumbents in the legislature will surely have great plans along with their newly compliant school board and treasurer.

May 18th

May 26th

May 28th

May 31st

EDIT: June 2nd School Board Election Process Fails Us! (Big Surprise)
Sara explains the results of the committee vote and how two incumbents, including the Board Chair, Richard Sadler, were eliminated in the committee process before voters even get a chance to retain them or not. Sara said this:
This is a person who not only won election from his constituents, but was also chosen by his peers to be the person most capable of chairing the Board. And he was ousted by businessmen who don't even live in his district!

Sara made a data chart showing how the business and education representatives voted. (I wish I could tip her. That's a lot of work!) The most relevant question/concern to me is the distinct voting blocks. In every district, there was a distinct block of business people and a separate block of educators voting for different candidates. (Sara called one education rep a "poser" who usually voted with the business rep's.) Why the stark divide? Is that because of attitudes toward one wedge issue like vouchers, or because of their backgrounds, or...something else? I would like to think that I could sit with some business owners and come to some agreements and consensus on quality people. I would love anyone who saw the meeting or previous meetings to comment. What was happening? What were the relevant concerns?

1 comment:

Sara Brate said...

Thanks for bringing this to the attention to your readers, Utah Teacher! And, for the record, what you write inspires me so keep up the great work! You've been a valuable resource when it comes to understanding what a teacher thinks about issues, and I think it's so important to listen to teachers.

You can add one more post to your list. I posted it last night and it's entitled "School Board Election Process Fails Us! (Big Surprise)". The "Big Surprise" part is obviously sarcasm, but that goes without saying since you've read the history, and unfortunately history has repeated itself yet again! I hope people are outraged about this!!

I really appreciate all that you've written about the omnibus bill. I'll be picking up on that shortly and if you don't mind I'll be linking back to you so readers can see some of the great stuff you've already written about it.