Tagschool board elections

29 candidates file for 14 school board seats in Manchester, New Hampshire

On July 23, the filing deadline passed to run for elected office in the Manchester School District in New Hampshire. The primary is scheduled for September 21, and the general election is scheduled for November 2, 2021. 

Candidates filed for all 14 of the school district’s Board of School Committee seats–two at-large seats and 12 ward-specific seats. Ten incumbents are running for re-election, including two at-large members and eight ward-specific members.

The Manchester School District served 13,452 students during the 2018-2019 school year. 

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Candidate filing deadline for school board positions in Ohio is Aug. 4

Candidates interested in running for their local school board in Ohio have until Aug. 4 to file, unless the district held a primary earlier in the year. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 2, and new board members will take office on Jan. 1, 2022.

Ballotpedia is covering elections in 20 Ohio school districts in 2021. Columbus City Schools’ filing deadline was Feb. 3. The remaining 19 districts are:

  • Berea City School District
  • Canal Winchester Local School District
  • Cincinnati Public Schools
  • Dublin City Schools
  • Euclid City School District
  • Gahanna-Jefferson City School District
  • Groveport-Madison Local School District
  • Hamilton Local School District
  • Hilliard City Schools
  • Maumee City School District
  • New Albany-Plain Local School District
  • Olentangy Local School District
  • Pickerington Local School District
  • South-Western City Schools
  • Sylvania City School District
  • Toledo Public Schools
  • Washington Local School District
  • Westerville City School District
  • Worthington Schools

These 19 school districts served a combined total of 220,070 students during the 2016-2017 school year. 

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Recall elections defeated in 2 Idaho school districts

Two Idaho school districts held recall elections for school board members on May 18. In Idaho Falls School District 91, voters were asked if they wanted to recall Zone 3 representative Lara Hill, and in the Nampa School District, they were asked if they wanted to recall Zone 4 representative Kim Rost. Both recall efforts were defeated.

In order for recalls to be approved in Idaho, a majority of voters must cast ballots in favor. The total number of votes cast in favor of recall must also be higher than the number of votes cast for the official in his or her last election. In Nampa, a majority of voters cast ballots in favor of recalling Hill, but they did not meet the 591-vote threshold to remove her from office. In Idaho Falls, a majority of voters cast ballots against the recall.

The effort to recall Hill began after the Idaho Falls board of trustees voted 3-2 on Sept. 30 to move high schools in the district from in-person instruction to a mixture of in-person and online instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Superintendent George Boland said the goal was to reduce the number of coronavirus cases and related quarantines and absences at the high schools. Hill voted in favor along with Elizabeth Cogliati and Hillary Radcliffe. 

Recall supporters also attempted to remove Cogliati and Radcliffe. The effort against Radcliffe did not collect enough signatures to put the recall on the ballot. The effort against Cogliati was on the ballot on March 9. A majority of voters cast ballots against the recall, defeating the effort.

Supporters of the effort to recall Rost said she was not representing the majority of her constituents in the Nampa School District and had demonstrated a lack of leadership. Rost said her volunteer service for the district had been unwavering for 16 years and that transparency and accountability had been at the forefront of her goals as a trustee. 

A separate recall effort was on the ballot in the Nampa School District on March 9. The recall asked whether voters wanted to remove Zone 2 representative Mike Kipp from office. A majority of voters cast ballots against the recall, defeating the effort.

Hill was first appointed to the five-member Idaho Falls board of trustees in September 2018 and was later elected in November 2019. Rost was elected to a four-year term on the five-member Nampa board of trustees on May 16, 2017.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 227 recall efforts against 279 elected officials. Of the 49 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 29 were recalled for a rate of 59%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.

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Ballotpedia is covering general elections in eight Oregon school boards on May 18

The general election for eight school boards in Oregon is on May 18. These districts do not hold primary elections for school board races. The filing deadline to run passed on March 18. 

School board candidates are competing in the following districts:

• Beaverton School District

• Centennial School District 28J

• David Douglas School District

• Parkrose School District 3

• Portland Public Schools

• Reynolds School District 7

• Salem-Keizer Public Schools

• Scappoose School District 1J

These eight districts served a total of 161,240 students during the 2018-2019 school year.

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Voters in two Idaho school districts to decide recall elections on May 18

Two Idaho school districts are holding recall elections for two school board members on May 18. In Idaho Falls School District 91, voters will be asked if they want to recall Zone 3 representative Lara Hill, and in the Nampa School District, they will be asked if they want to recall Zone 4 representative Kim Rost.

In order for recalls to be approved in Idaho, a majority of voters must cast ballots in favor. The total number of votes cast in favor of recall must also be higher than the number of votes cast for the official in his or her last election.

The effort to recall Hill began after the Idaho Falls board of trustees voted 3-2 on Sept. 30 to move high schools in the district from in-person instruction to a mixture of in-person and online instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Superintendent George Boland said the goal was to reduce the number of coronavirus cases and related quarantines and absences at the high schools. Hill voted in favor along with Elizabeth Cogliati and Hillary Radcliffe.

Recall supporters also attempted to remove Cogliati and Radcliffe. The effort against Radcliffe did not collect enough signatures to put the recall on the ballot. The effort against Cogliati was on the ballot on March 9. A majority of voters cast ballots against the recall, defeating the effort.

Supporters of the effort to recall Rost said she was not representing the majority of her constituents in the Nampa School District and had demonstrated a lack of leadership. Rost said her volunteer service for the district had been unwavering for 16 years and that transparency and accountability had been at the forefront of her goals as a trustee. 

A separate recall effort was on the ballot in the Nampa School District on March 9. The recall asked whether voters wanted to remove Zone 2 representative Mike Kipp from office. A majority of voters cast ballots against the recall, defeating the effort.

Hill was first appointed to the five-member Idaho Falls board of trustees in September 2018 and was later elected in November 2019. Rost was elected to a four-year term on the five-member Nampa board of trustees on May 16, 2017.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 227 recall efforts against 279 elected officials. Of the 49 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 29 were recalled for a rate of 59%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.

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Voters to decide Lackawanna City (N.Y.) School District elections on May 18

The general election for Lackawanna City School District in New York is May 18. The filing deadline to run passed on April 29. 

Five candidates will be on the nonpartisan ballot. Incumbents Kimberly Bukaty, Leonard Kowalski, and Mohamed Munassar face challengers Raymond Braxton and Azaldeen Mohamed. Bukaty was appointed to the board in March to replace Nicholas Trifilo. Incumbent Mark Kowalski did not file for re-election.

Candidates are competing for four of seven seats on the board. The three trustees with the highest number of votes will be elected to three-year terms, and the trustee with the fourth-highest number of votes will be elected to a two-year term.

Lackawanna City School District served 1,944 students during the 2018-2019 school year and comprised four schools.

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Incumbents sweep school board election in Lincoln, Nebraska

Four incumbents were re-elected to the Lincoln Public Schools school board in Nebraska in the nonpartisan general election on May 4. Kathy Danek (District 1), Barbara Beier (District 3), Lanny Boswell (District 5), and Don Mayhew (District 7) each won new four-year terms on the seven-member board.

Baier and Boswell ran unopposed in the general election as well as in the primary that was held on April 6. Danek advanced from the primary alongside opponent Christina Campbell and won the general election with 56% of the vote. Mayhew advanced from the primary alongside opponent Michael Patestas and won the general election with 60% of the vote.

The city of Lincoln, Nebraska, also held nonpartisan general elections on May 4 for three at-large seats on the city council and two at-large seats on the Lincoln Airport Authority. Six candidates, including three incumbents, competed for the city council seats. All six advanced from the April 6 primary after defeating four other candidates. Incumbents Sändra Washington and Bennie Shobe were re-elected to the city council in the general election, and newcomer Tom Beckius won his first term on the board. John Olsson and Nicki Behmer won the airport authority seats.

Lincoln Public Schools served 41,737 students during the 2017-2018 school year. Lincoln is the second-largest city in Nebraska and the 71st-largest city in the U.S. by population.

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Lincoln voters to decide city council, school board, and Airport Authority races on May 4

The nonpartisan general election for Lincoln, Neb., will be held on May 4. The primary was held on April 6. Three city council seats, two seats on the Lincoln Airport Authority, and four seats on the Lincoln Public Schools school board will be on the ballot.

Incumbent Roy Christensen, incumbent Bennie Shobe, incumbent Sändra Washington, Tom Beckius, Eric Burling, and Mary Hilton are running in the city council election. The three candidates who receive the most votes will each earn a four-year term.

Although city council elections in Lincoln are officially nonpartisan, candidates can file with a party affiliation. Incumbent Christensen has served on the city council since 2013 and identifies with the Republican Party. In addition to Christensen, Burling and Hilton identify with the Republican Party. Incumbent Shobe was elected in 2017 and identifies as a member of the Democratic Party. Incumbent Washington was appointed to the council in 2019 and identifies with the Democratic Party. In addition to Shobe and Washington, Beckius identifies with the Democratic Party.

Nicki Behmer, Jason Krueger, John Olsson, and Tracy Refior are running in the Lincoln Airport Authority election. The two candidates who receive the most votes will each earn a six-year term.

District 3 incumbent Barbara Baier and District 5 incumbent Lanny Boswell are unopposed in their bids for re-election on the school board. Incumbent Kathy Danek and Christina Campbell will face off in the District 1 general election. In the District 7 election, incumbent Don Mayhew will face off against Michael Patestas. The winners of the four races will earn four-year terms.

Lincoln is the 71st largest city by population in the United States. In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 71 cities, including 43 mayoral elections.



Incumbents win reelection in Newark Public Schools election

Incumbents Dawn Haynes, Asia Norton, Vereliz Santana and Daniel Gonzalez won in the Newark, New Jersey school board election on April 20, 2021. Haynes, Norton, and Santana, all incumbents, defeated challengers Nadirah Brown, Yolanda Johnson, and Philip Wilson in the regular election with 29.9%, 28.2%, and 27.1% of the vote, respectively, and will serve three-year terms on the board. No other candidate received over 6%.

Gonzalez, meanwhile, won a special election for an open fourth seat against Sheila Montague, 65.6% to 34.4%. The special election was called after board member Tave Padilla died on November 25, 2020. On January 28, 2021, the board appointed Santana to fill Padilla’s seat until the April election. Padilla took office in 2016 and won reelection to another three-year term on April 16, 2019. Gonzalez will serve the remainder of the term, which will end after the next election in 2022.

Haynes, Santana, Norton, and Gonzalez ran on the Moving Newark Schools Forward ticket, a candidate slate backed by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr. Haynes and Norton previously ran on the slate in 2018 when they were both first elected to the board.

Newark Public Schools is overseen by a nine-member board, all of whom are elected at large to three-year terms. All registered voters can vote for seats on the ballot in an at-large election as opposed to a by district election, in which only the registered voters of a particular geographic area may vote for a particular seat up for election.

The district was the largest school district in the state in the 2019-2020 school year and served 36,676 students. From 1995 to 2017, the New Jersey state government oversaw the school district. Local control was returned to the district on September 13, 2017.

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Recall charges against Seattle school board members dismissed

A King County Superior Court judge on April 19 dismissed recall charges against six of the seven members of the Seattle Public Schools school board in Washington. The hearing on the petitions was held on April 16.

The recall charges were filed against Liza Rankin, Lisa Rivera Smith, Chandra Hampson, Zachary DeWolf, Leslie Harris, and Brandon Hersey in March 2021. District IV representative Erin Dury was not included in the recall effort as she was not a member of the board at the time charges were filed. She was appointed to the position on March 24.

Recall supporters said the board had failed to transition to in-person instruction in a timely manner. Seattle Public Schools started out the 2020-2021 school year in remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The board voted on March 24 to move Pre-K through fifth-grade students into in-person instruction starting in April 2021. The school board members did not publicly respond to the recall effort.

When dismissing the petition, Judge Mafé Rajul said the decision to close schools was a “discretionary act and members of a school board cannot be recalled unless they arbitrarily or unreasonably exercised such discretion.” She said the school board members had not acted arbitrarily or unreasonably when they voted to close the schools.

If the recall charges had been approved, recall supporters would have had to collect signatures equal to 25% of the votes cast in the last election for each official.

Rankin, Rivera Smith, and Hampson were first elected to four-year terms on the board on November 5, 2019. Harris was re-elected to the board in the same election. DeWolf was re-elected to the board on November 7, 2017, and Hersey was appointed to the board on September 18, 2019. The school district is holding a regular election on November 2 for the seats held by DeWolf, Hersey, and Dury.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 226 recall efforts against 272 elected officials. Of the 49 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 29 were recalled for a rate of 59%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.

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