The average number of candidates running per school board seat in school districts covered by Ballotpedia went up each year from 2020 to 2022. An average of 1.96 candidates ran per seat in 2020. That number increased to 2.09 in 2021 and increased again to 2.17 in 2022.
School board elections in 2021 and 2022 also saw a lower percentage of uncontested seats compared to 2020. In 2020, 35.51% of the school board seats covered by Ballotpedia saw no opposition. That percentage decreased to 23.84% in 2021. It then rose slightly to 24.81% in 2022.
School board incumbents ran for re-election at a lower rate in 2021 and 2022 compared to 2020, with the lowest percentage happening in 2021. A total of 73.66% of school board incumbents whose terms were up for election in 2020 ran for another term. In 2021, 64.92% of incumbents ran for re-election, and 68.18% ran for re-election in 2022.
Elections in 2021 and 2022 also saw a higher percentage of non-incumbent candidates compared to 2020. In 2020, 62.38% of all school board candidates were non-incumbents. In 2021, that percentage rose to 68.90%. It was nearly equal in 2022 at 68.56%.
When looking at school board election results, 2021 and 2022 saw a lower percentage of seats go to incumbents compared to 2020, with the lowest percentage happening in 2021. Incumbents won 60.20% of seats up for election in 2020. That percentage fell to 50.97% in 2021. It rose to 53.38% in 2022.
Ballotpedia covers all school districts in the 100 largest cities by population and the 200 largest school districts by student enrollment. In 2020, that included 358 school districts in 28 states with a total of 1,025 school board seats and 2,007 candidates. In 2021, Ballotpedia covered elections in 180 school districts in 24 states. There were 516 seats up for election that year and 1,077 candidates. In 2022, Ballotpedia covered 1,169 school board seats up for election in 372 school districts in 28 states. A total of 2,535 candidates ran for election that year.