Tagschool board elections

Nebraska filing deadline is March 2

The filing deadline for non-incumbents to run for elected office in Nebraska is on March 2, 2020. The filing deadline for incumbents was on February 18. In Nebraska, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:

  • U.S. President (1 seat)
  • U.S. Senate (1 seat)
  • U.S. House (3 seats)
  • Nebraska Public Service Commission (1 seat)
  • Nebraska State Board of Education (4 seats)
  • Nebraska State Senate (25 seats)

Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas:

  • Elkhorn Public Schools school board (3 seats)
  • Millard Public Schools school board (3 seats)
  • Norris School District 160 school board (3 seats)
  • Omaha Public Schools school board (5 seats)
  • Ralston Public Schools school board (3 seats)
  • Westside Community Schools school board (2 seats)
  • Omaha Public Power District, subdivisions 1 and 2
  • Lancaster County Commission, districts 2 and 4

In addition, retention elections for incumbent judges are being held for two Nebraska Supreme Court seats and two Nebraska Court of Appeals seats.

The primary election is scheduled for May 12, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Nebraska’s statewide filing deadline is the 14th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on March 6 in Georgia.

Nebraska has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

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Alabama voters to decide whether to change education board from elected to appointed on March 3

Voters in Alabama will decide Amendment 1 on March 3. The constitutional amendment would rename the State Board of Education as the Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education. The amendment would change the board from being elected by voters to being appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. Under the amendment, the name of the State Superintendent of Education would be changed to the Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education. Amendment 1 would also direct the governor to ensure that members of the commission “reflect the geographical, gender, and racial diversity of the students enrolled in public K-12 education in the state.”

Under the amendment, the commission would be tasked with adopting “course of study standards that ensure nationwide consistency and the seamless transfer of students from within and outside of the state, in lieu of common core.”

Currently, the Alabama State Board of Education is an elected executive agency of the Alabama state government, responsible for managing the state’s public K-12 education. The board’s mission is “To provide a state system of education which is committed to academic excellence and which provides education of the highest quality to all Alabama students, preparing them for the 21st century.” The board is responsible for appointing a superintendent of education and adopting courses of study and learning standards for each subject area, including what textbooks will be used. The board also approves university and college teacher preparation and certification programs.

In 26 of 50 states, members of the state board of education are appointed by the governor and approved by either the state senate, the full state legislature, or, in the case of New Hampshire, the Executive Council. In six other states, members are appointed by the governor but not subject to confirmation. Six states including Alabama use partisan elections. Two states and Washington, D.C. use nonpartisan elections. Seven states use a combination of appointment and election. Minnesota and Wisconsin do not have a state board of education.

Governor Kay Ivey (R) supports Amendment 1. Ivey said, “Every Alabama voter will now have a chance to drastically change the structure for education governance in our state. It is time that bureaucracy no longer stands in the way of our educators, and most importantly, our students. Our current system is simply not working. Statistics prove that. However, through this bold change, I am confident that Alabama will have a system that will work more effectively for our students and educators.”

Ballotpedia identified one committee registered to support Amendment 1: Yes for the Best Education Committee. The committee reported $100,000 in contributions, all from the Alabama Farmers Federation. The committee reported $98,000 in expenditures. Ballotpedia did not identify committees registered to oppose the amendment.

Opponents of the measure include the Alabama Republican Party and the Eagle Forum of Alabama. Eagle Forum of Alabama Executive Director Becky Gerritson said, “Amendment 1 will take away the right of Alabama voters to vote for their State Board Education representative. Amendment 1 has bait and switch language that is deceiving, such as ‘in lieu of common core’. One will notice that ‘common core’ is in lowercase which refers to something in generalized terms, and not in specific terms such as Common Core State Standards (CCSS). This is a play on words, yet very deceiving. The authors of this Amendment did not intend to get rid of Common Core State Standards, yet are telling the public Amendment 1 will get rid of them.”

Many board members shared their viewpoints on Amendment 1. Board member Tracie West said, “Just because a board is appointed does not mean it’s going to be successful and effective. Just because a board is elected does not mean that it is going to be successful and effective. I think that there are many other factors involved other than just being an appointed board.” Board member Dr. Wayne Reynolds said he would take legal action if Amendment 1 is approved. Reynolds said, “If I’m a constitutional officer elected to serve through 2022, and there’s a constitutional amendment that says I’m removed, and the Governor chooses not to appoint me, that is a point that I would litigate.”

Mason-Dixon Polling Strategy conducted a poll of 625 registered voters from February 4-6, 2020, asking respondents how they would vote on Amendment 1 if the election were held that day. 41% of respondents said they would vote no to reject the measure, 38% said they would vote yes to approve it, and 28% said they were undecided.

From 1996 through 2018, the state legislature referred 95 constitutional amendments to the ballot. All but six of the amendments appeared on the ballot during even-numbered years. Of the 89 measures that appeared on the ballot during even-numbered years, voters approved 81% (72 of 89) of the amendments and rejected the other 19% (17 of 89).

To learn more about the amendment and read statements from board members, click here.


Six of 29 Oklahoma school board seats covered by Ballotpedia to hold primaries

In 2020, Ballotpedia is covering 29 school board races across 26 school districts in Oklahoma. Six out of those 29 races will include a primary since three or more candidates qualified for the ballot. The primary is on February 11, 2020. The six races span the following five school districts: Bixby, Luther, Moore, Owasso, and Tulsa Public Schools.

Among the 23 school board races that are not holding primaries, 18 races feature one candidate running unopposed. No one filed to run for Seat 5 on the Yukon Public Schools Board of Education after the sole candidate withdrew from the race. The remaining four races advanced to the general election on April 7, 2020, since exactly two candidates qualified for the ballot in each race.

In 2019, Ballotpedia covered 30 school board races in the same 26 districts. Candidates ran unopposed in 16 of those races. These school districts served a total of 261,543 students in the 2016-2017 school year.

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One of six Wisconsin school districts covered by Ballotpedia to hold primary

The Madison Metropolitan School District is holding a primary for Seat 6 on the school board on February 18, 2020. Three candidates filed to run for the open seat, and the two who receive the most votes will move on to the April 7 general election. That ballot will also include races for Seat 2 and Seat 7, since only one and two candidates, respectively, filed to run for those seats.

Ballotpedia is covering five other school districts—DeForest, McFarland, Middleton-Cross Plains, Sun Prairie, and Verona—in Wisconsin in 2020. None of those school districts will hold February primaries since fewer than three candidates filed to run for each seat up for election this year. Among the five districts, 11 seats will be on the April general election ballot. Eight of those seats are unopposed.

All six school districts also held elections in 2019. That year, the Madison Metropolitan School District held primaries for all three seats. No other school districts held primaries. Among the six districts, a total of 29 candidates filed for the 19 seats on the ballot that year.

These six school districts served a combined total of 55,821 students during the 2014-2015 school year.

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