Welcome to the Wednesday, March 15, Brew.
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- More than 24,000 school board seats up for election in 2023
- We’ve expanded our school board coverage this year to include 8,750 school board elections in 28 states this year
- Democrats will have one-vote majority in Pennsylvania House of Representatives after state legislator resigns
More than 24,000 school board seats up for election in 2023
Today, we’re going to take a deep-dive into this year’s school board elections. School boards are some of the most influential elected government bodies in the country.
This year, approximately 24,100 school board seats in 35 states are up for regular election in 2023. This information is based on state rules governing school board election dates in each state, cross-referenced with district-specific school board member data. This is not counting any special elections to fill unexpired terms.
- Those 35 states have 66,831 school board seats. In all, 36% of seats in those states are up for election this year.
- The 24,100 seats up for election represent 29% of all school board seats in the country. Most school districts hold staggered elections, meaning that not all seats are up for election in any given year.
- Most districts have half or one-third of seats up for election this year, and others have a quarter or one-fifth of seats up.
In those 35 states, about 9,000 districts are holding elections. That is out of a total of 10,196 school districts in those states.
- The approximately 9,000 school districts with regular elections this year represent 69% of all districts in the country and 88% of the total districts within the 35 states.
General school board elections in 2023 will take place on at least nine different dates. Some states will have school board elections on multiple dates. In some states, school board election dates can vary by district. School districts in at least 12 states could also hold primary elections.
- April 4 – five states
- April 18 – one state
- May 2 – two states
- May 6 – one state
- May 9 – two states
- May 16 – two states
- October 3 – one state
- November 7 – 16 states
- November 14 – one state
Click here to read more about the 2023 school board election landscape.
We’ve expanded our school board coverage this year to include 8,750 school board elections in 28 states this year
Let’s continue this theme of school board elections, this time with a focus on the school board elections we’ll be covering throughout the year.
This year, we’re covering elections for approximately 8,750 school board seats in 3,211 school districts across 28 states. This is 36% of all school board elections this year.
In the past, we’ve covered all school districts in the 100 largest cities and the 200 largest school districts by student enrollment (as well as all school board recall elections). This year, we’re excited to announce that we have expanded our coverage to include all school board elections in the following 10 states:
- South Dakota
You can stay up to date on our school board election coverage, as well as on the latest in school board politics and education policy, by subscribing to Hall Pass, our weekly education-related newsletter.
Click the link below to learn more of our school board coverage this year.
Democrats will have one-vote majority in Pennsylvania House of Representatives after state legislator resigns
Pennsylvania state Rep. Mike Zabel (D) announced he would resign from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives effective March 16 following three separate sexual harassment accusations against him. After Zabel’s resignation, the partisan control of the Pennsylvania House will be 101 Democrats and 100 Republicans, with two vacancies.
Earlier this month, three women—state Rep. Abby Major (R), Zabel’s former campaign manager, and a lobbyist—each accused Zabel of sexually harassing them over the past several years.
In a series of text messages to the Associated Press after announcing his resignation, Zabel wrote, “Allegations of this nature are impossible to litigate in a public forum. It was always my intention to go through the Ethics Committee process and defend myself there. At this point, though, I am unwilling to put my loved ones through any more of this.”
Since the November 2022 elections, when Democrats won 102 seats to Republicans’ 101, vacancies have been an unavoidable topic in Pennsylvania’s narrowly divided House. Shortly after the November elections, two Democratic members resigned after winning election to other office and another died. This gave Republicans a functional 101-99 seat majority. On Jan. 3, the House voted 115-85 to elect Rep. Mark Rozzi (D) as speaker, with all 99 Democrats and 16 Republicans voting for Rozzi. Rozzi stepped down as House speaker on Feb. 28. Joanna McClinton (D) became speaker on March 1.
On Feb. 7, Democratic candidates won special elections in all three vacant districts, giving Democrats 102 members and, once again, a House majority.
Aside from the upcoming vacancy in Zabel’s district, the other open district was last represented by Lynda Schlegel Culver (R), who won a special election to the state Senate on Jan. 31. State House Speaker Joanna McClinton (D) set the special election for Schlegel Culver’s district for May 16th, which is the date of Pennsylvania’s statewide judicial primary. McClinton will need to schedule a special election, and provide 60 days’ notice when she does so.
All 203 seats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are up for election every two years. Pennsylvania currently has a divided government as Democrats control the governorship, and Republicans have a 28-22 majority in the state Senate.