School board recalls in 2021

Ballotpedia has tracked 84 school board recall efforts against 215 board members in 2021. This is the highest number of school board recall efforts we have tracked in one year. The next-highest year was in 2010 with 38 recall efforts against 91 school board members. Between 2009 and 2020, Ballotpedia tracked an average of 28 recall efforts against an average of 64 school board members each year.

One driving force for the high number of recalls this year was reactions to the coronavirus and government responses to the pandemic. We tracked 48 school board recalls (57.1%) that were related to the pandemic in some way. 

So where do these recall efforts stand after the Nov. 2 elections?

  • Efforts against 69 board members are still underway
  • Efforts against 119 board members have ended without going to a vote
  • Eight board members have resigned
  • Efforts against 19 board members have made the ballot

Of the efforts that made the ballot, 16 recall elections have been held so far this year. Another three board members, all in the San Francisco Unified School District, will face their recall elections in February 2022. 

Out of those 16 board members that faced a recall election in 2021, one was removed from office. The other 15 kept their seats after a majority of voters cast ballots against their recall elections.

Of the 69 board members that still have recall efforts against them underway, three are waiting for recall elections to be scheduled as the recall efforts have been certified for the ballot. Efforts against 12 board members have filing deadlines passing in November, and efforts against nine board members have filing deadlines passing in December.

Twenty-five of the 84 school board recall efforts we have tracked this year are in California. Wisconsin has the next-highest number of efforts with 11, and Arizona is third with 10.

California and Wisconsin tied for the most recall efforts in 2020 with five each. Idaho came in third that year with four. 

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