Tagschool board elections

Oklahoma school districts to hold primary elections on Feb. 9

The nonpartisan primary election for school board seats in Oklahoma is on February 9, 2021. Candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for April 6, 2021. The filing deadline passed on December 9, 2020.

Five school districts within Ballotpedia’s coverage scope are holding primary elections for five seats. In Oklahoma, school districts cancel primary elections if fewer than three candidates file to run for each seat up for election, and the candidates automatically advance to the general election. Both the primary and general elections are canceled if only one candidate files for a seat up for election, and the unopposed candidate is automatically elected. The following school districts are holding primary elections:

• Edmond Public Schools

• Owasso Public Schools

• Putnam City Schools

• Tulsa Public schools

• Oklahoma City Public Schools

In all, a total of 33 school board seats across 26 Oklahoma school districts covered by Ballotpedia are up for election in 2021.

The largest school district covered by Ballotpedia and holding elections in Oklahoma in 2021 is Oklahoma City Public Schools. The district served 39,806 students during the 2016-2017 school year.

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Filing deadline approaches for Texas school board elections

The filing deadline to run for school board in 57 Texas districts is on February 12, 2021. The general election is scheduled for May 1, 2021. 

If no candidate wins the majority of the vote in the general election, the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff election. The date of the runoff election varies by school district.

Some school boards in Texas hold elections in November. Six school districts covered by Ballotpedia will have general elections on November 2, 2021.

During the 2016-2017 school year, 1,955,339 students were enrolled in the 57 districts holding elections in May.

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Oklahoma school board candidates vie for 33 seats in 2021

On December 9, 2020, the filing deadline passed to run for 33 school board seats across 26 school districts covered by Ballotpedia in Oklahoma. Of the 58 candidates who filed in these school board races, 24 are incumbents seeking re-election to their seats. 

The primary is scheduled for February 9, 2021, and the general election is scheduled for April 6, 2021. In Oklahoma, school districts cancel primary elections if fewer than three candidates file to run for each seat up for election, and the candidates automatically advance to the general election. Both the primary and general elections are canceled if only one candidate files for a seat up for election, and the unopposed candidate is automatically elected. 

The largest school district covered by Ballotpedia and holding elections in Oklahoma in 2021 is Oklahoma City Public Schools. The district served 39,806 students during the 2016-2017 school year.

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Idaho school board recall election scheduled for Mar. 9

A recall election seeking to remove Elizabeth Cogliati from her position as the Zone 4 representative on the Idaho Falls School District 91 board of trustees in Idaho is being held on March 9, 2021.

Recall supporters initially sought to recall three of the five members of the board. In addition to Cogliati, Chairman and Zone 3 representative Lara Hill and Zone 5 representative Hillary Radcliffe were named in the recall petitions. Signatures for the recall of Hill and Cogliati were both submitted on December 28, 2020, but the Bonneville County Clerk’s Office found that the petition against Hill did not have enough valid signatures to be placed on the ballot. The effort against Radcliffe did not submit the petition by the deadline.

The recall efforts began after the board of trustees voted 3-2 on September 30, 2020, to move high schools in the district from in-person instruction five days a week to a mix of in-person instruction two days a week and online instruction the other three days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hill, Radcliffe, and Cogliati voted in favor of the change in instruction, while trustees Paul Haacke and Larry Haws voted against.

Superintendent George Boland said the goal for the change in instruction was to reduce the number of coronavirus cases and related quarantines and absences at the high schools. The school district had reported 90 coronavirus cases among students and staff between the beginning of the school year and October 9, 2020. Recall supporters said the district’s online classes were of low quality and putting students at a disadvantage.

Hill was first appointed to the board of trustees in September 2018 and later elected in November 2019. Radcliffe was appointed to the board in June 2019, and Cogliati was elected to the board in November 2019.

To get the recall against Hill on the ballot, supporters had to collect at least 480 signatures from registered voters. To get the recall against Radcliffe on the ballot, supporters had to collect at least 1,400 signatures. To get the recall against Cogliati on the ballot, supporters had to collect at least 280 signatures. The number of signatures needed was equal to 50% of the votes cast at the last election in the zone the trustees represent. Signatures had to be collected within 75 days.

Recall efforts against school board members started in three other school districts in Idaho in 2020. All of the efforts named their school board’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as reasons for recall. The effort in the West Ada school district did not go to a vote but saw two members resign from their positions. The recall effort against Aaron Proctor in the Whitepine School District went to the ballot on November 3 and was approved with 57% of the vote, resulting in Proctor’s removal from office. The recall effort against three board members in the Pocatello-Chubbuck school district was approved for the ballot, and the elections were also scheduled for March 9.

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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Filing deadline passes for successor candidates in Colorado school board recall

A recall election seeking to remove Lance McDaniel from his position as the District A representative on the Montezuma-Cortez School District Board of Education in Colorado is being held on February 16, 2021. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to replace McDaniel if the recall is successful was January 8. One candidate—Cody Wells—filed.

The recall election will have two questions. One will ask if voters are in favor of recalling McDaniel, with the option to vote yes or no. The other question will list the successor candidates. If a majority of voters cast ballots in favor of recalling McDaniel, the successor candidate who received the most votes will replace him on the board. If a majority of voters cast ballots against recalling McDaniel, he will retain his position on the board.

The recall effort started in July 2020. Recall supporters said McDaniel had shown a “lack of leadership and has proven to be a poor role model for our children” due to several of his social media posts. The petition stated, “We need school board members that understand leadership and the power of mentoring, and know not to voice their personal, political, or social opinions that could influence children.”

McDaniel said he was not concerned about the recall effort. “When it gets down to it, I’m a loudmouth liberal, and they don’t like that,” he said. McDaniel said he stood by his social media posts. “The conservatives don’t like the fact that there are some more progressive people in the town,” he said.

To get the recall on the ballot, supporters of the effort had to submit 1,126 signatures in 60 days. The number of signatures was equal to 40% of the citizens in the school district who voted in the last school board election. Recall supporters submitted the signatures by the deadline, and Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder Kim Percell determined enough signatures were valid. Before a recall election could be scheduled, four challenges were submitted against the petition, saying the petition was “baseless, frivolous and infringes on Mr. McDaniel’s First Amendment rights of freedom of speech.” A hearing on the challenges was held on November 19, and the challenges were denied on November 23. Hearing Officer Mike Green said that the recall petition met the statutory requirements.

McDaniel is one of seven members on the board of education. He was appointed to his position in 2018.

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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Filing deadline passes to run for school boards in Louisiana

The filing deadline to run for the Orleans Parish and Caddo Parish school boards is on July 24, 2020. In Orleans Parish, all seven seats on the board are up for election. Meanwhile, Caddo Parish is holding a special election for the District 8 seat, which became vacant when Denee Locke (R) moved out of the district.
In Orleans Parish, the primary is scheduled for November 3, 2020, and the general election is scheduled for December 5. In Caddo Parish, the special general election is scheduled for November 3.
These two districts served a total of 55,257 students during the 2016-2017 school year.
In 2020, Louisiana is also holding elections for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, Public Service Commissioner, state Supreme Court, and Circuit Courts of Appeal. The statewide filing deadline is also on July 24.


Filing deadline approaches for three school boards in Michigan

The filing deadline to run for school board in the Detroit, Dearborn, and Ann Arbor school districts in Michigan is on July 21, 2020. In each district, three out of seven seats on the school board are up for election.

The general election in each district is scheduled for November 3, 2020. No primaries are scheduled for these races.

During the 2017-2018 school year, these three districts served a total of 88,080 students.

Michigan’s statewide filing deadline passed on April 21 for state legislative offices and on May 8 for congressional and state executive offices.

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St. Paul school board representative Xiong dies of COVID-19

Marny Xiong, who was an at-large representative on the St. Paul Board of Education, died of COVID-19 on June 7. Her family released a statement on June 8 notifying the public of her death.

Xiong tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, roughly one month before her death. Xiong’s sister posted publicly on Facebook on May 8 that Xiong had contracted the coronavirus and been hospitalized.

Xiong is the second local-level politician that Ballotpedia has identified to have died as a result of COVID-19. The first was Jersey City Council representative Michael Yun, who died on April 6. Ballotpedia is covering the deaths, diagnoses, and quarantines of political incumbents, candidates, and government officials resulting from COVID-19, as well as individuals confirmed to have been tested and found not to carry COVID-19.

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Candidate filing period to pass in five states

The filing deadlines to run for state-level offices in Alaska, Kansas, Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Minnesota will pass next week. Alaska’s, Kansas’, and Wisconsin’s filing deadlines will pass on June 1. The filing deadlines in Hawaii and Minnesota will pass on June 2.

Alaska
In Alaska, prospective candidates may file for the following state offices:
  • State Senate (10 seats)
  • State House (40 seats)
  • Additionally, Alaska will hold retention elections for one supreme court justice and one court of appeals justice.
Kansas
In Kansas, prospective candidates may file for the following state offices:
  • State Board of Education (5 seats)
  • State Senate (40 seats)
  • State House (125 seats)
  • Additionally, Kansas will hold retention elections for one supreme court justice and six court of appeals justices.

Ballotpedia is also covering local offices in Sedgwick County, Kansas.

Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, prospective candidates may file for the following state offices:
  • State Senate (16 seats)
  • State House (99 seats)
Hawaii
In Hawaii, prospective candidates may file for the following state offices:
  • Office of Hawaiian Affairs (4 seats)
  • State Senate (13 seats)
  • State House (51 seats)

Ballotpedia is also covering local offices in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Minnesota
In Minnesota, prospective candidates may file for the following state offices:
  • State Senate (67 seats)
  • State House (134 seats)
  • Supreme Court (2 seats)
  • Court of Appeals (6 seats)
Ballotpedia is also covering local offices in the following areas:
  • Minneapolis Public Schools (4 seats)
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Hennepin County, Minnesota
  • Ramsey County, Minnesota

Kansas’ primary is scheduled for August 4, and Hawaii’s primary is scheduled for August 8. Minnesota and Wisconsin’s primaries are scheduled for August 11. Alaska’s primary will be held on August 18. The general elections in all five states are scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Alaska, Kansas, Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Minnesota’s statewide filing deadlines are the 41st, 42nd, 43rd, 44th, and 45th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on June 11 in Connecticut.

Hawaii has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Alaska, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Minnesota have a divided government where no party holds a trifecta.

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California school board recall to be held Tuesday

A recall election seeking to remove Leanne Ibarra and Jose Lara from their positions on the El Rancho Unified School District Board of Education in California is scheduled for June 2, 2020. The election is being conducted by mail-in ballot in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The candidate filing deadline passed on March 6; Allan Maciel and Joseph Rivera filed to run for Lara’s position, and Esther Mejia filed to run for Ibarra’s position.

Although Ibarra is still contesting the recall effort, Lara resigned from his seat effective February 5, 2020. At a school board meeting on January 21, Lara said he was leaving in order to focus on his family while his son recuperated from an illness. His name will still be on the recall election ballot, and if a majority of voters cast ballots to retain him, the school board will appoint his replacement.

The recall effort began in May 2019. Recall supporters listed a number of concerns with the board, including a vote to notify 23 administrators they could be fired or reassigned, a vote to demote, transfer, or release six administrators, and the alleged mismanagement of a $200 million bond. In an interview with the Whittier Daily News, Lara responded and said, “The community of Pico Rivera has been driven along a misinformation campaign. They’ve only heard one side of the story.”

Lara was first elected to the five-member board on November 5, 2013, and Ibarra was first elected on November 6, 2018. Before Lara resigned, he and Ibarra were members of a three-person majority on the board, according to the Whittier Daily News. The third member of the majority, Gabriel Orosco, was not included in the recall effort since his term is up for election in 2020. The other two board members support the recall effort. To get the recall on the ballot, recall supporters had to collect at least 6,509 signatures by October 23, 2019.

In 2019, Ballotpedia covered a total of 151 recall efforts against 230 elected officials. Of the 66 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 34 were recalled for a rate of 52%. That was lower than the 63% rate and 57% rate for 2018 and 2017 recalls, respectively.

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