Letter: Keep school boards non-partisan

Indiana House Bill 1042 and Senate Bill 144 will either require (HB 1042) or place extreme pressure on (SB 144) school board candidates to declare a political party in order to be included on the ballot.

Currently, school board candidates do not declare a political affiliation. Associating school board races with political parties will only serve to inject unnecessary and often unrelated national issues into these local races.

State and county party bosses would gain more control over education decisions than teachers, administrators, parents, or even the actual elected officials themselves.

Good candidates who do not wish to select one party over another will be discouraged from running for office, while those with only their own future political ambitions in mind will use the office as a stepping stone.

I urge you to contact your Statehouse officials. Tell them to keep politics out of schools and vote NO on HB 1042 and SB 144.

John Hurley, Richland


  1. School Boards should be party affiliated. They would have someone overlooking what they are doing. Also it would be easier to vote for them. As it is now in Dubois County If you vote a straight ticket you have to look hard for the school board candidates and many times someone will come out of the booth and say they never saw any school board persons to vote for.

    1. Interesting way of admitting people shouldn’t research political candidates and just adhere to the national party line. Sounds like a great way to get someone who never shuts up on Twitter but couldn’t tell you the difference between Jasper and Southridge high schools.

      If you ask me there shouldn’t be party affiliations listed for any position including President. If you want to vote down ticket, great! take five minutes and figure out who those people are before hand. Lift a finger and learn about the people you want making decisions in your community.

    2. Gerald said, “Also it would be easier to vote for them.”

      Meaning that people that don’t bother to read the ballot or listen to the poll workers can just vote straight ticket without knowing who is running. Is that what you mean?

      Straight ticket voting also does not address races where voters need to choose multiple candidates in a race (eg, at-large races). While this does not include school boards currently, voters need to pay careful attention. Making the school board races declare a party is not the solution.

  2. As the chairman of the Libertarian Party of Dubois County, I will say this is a difficult discussion. I think each resident should think about this and voice their opinion. The Republicans removed the ability to vote for the head of education in Indiana, but now want those running for office to be part of a political party? Remember, there would be three political parties and independents.

    1. Adrian, you should elaborate on your opinion a bit more with an LTTE for better visibility.

  3. For all the above reasons, this latest lamebrained Republican excursion into the classroom may be the worst yet. Worse than the Critical Race Theory phantom the party keeps chasing but never finds, yet still vows to stamp out.

    This proposed legislation is awful beyond words.

    1. Have you looked at some of the course descriptions obtained from across the country? We are fairly insulated around here. Just curious

      1. Joe:
        This is an Indiana legislature, proposing a bill that will affect Indiana schools. No K-12 school in Indiana teaches Critical Race Theory. This is a straw man bill, but I can’t affect any other jurisdiction. I live in Indiana.

        Any way, I doubt that any other state has put graduate level CRT elements in its K-12 programs. But you’ve obviously looked at course descriptions from across the country. Please cite me to any and all examples that I should fear.

        1. I agree with you Scott as far as I know Indiana schools have not adopted CRT into curriculum and hopefully that continues. I’m not doing research for others and I do not post specific links due to people then claiming I endorse everything else associated with that particular link. So CRT and associated theories are often presented under the guise of ethnic studies. Therefore, I would encourage you to view descriptions of this particular curriculum under state board of education websites. Examples are available in Kentucky, New Jersey, Oregon, California etc. then make your own judgement whether you endorse them.

          Now, my thoughts to the original post. I was indifferent to this prior to the election of the previous Superintendent of Public Education. I attended a presentation that she gave in Dubois Co. at VUJC 2 years ago and was quite taken back by the presentation. The arrogance presented that the State and Federal government know better than parents and local individuals about what and how our students should be instructed was disappointing to say the least.

  4. I agree that no school board candidate should be required to show party affiliation when on a ballot.
    Let’s keep education buffered as much as possible from politics.

  5. Designating a party affiliation is a great way to create competition for school board membership. Party competition will bring out more and better candidates which will benefit the students, taxpayers and the communities. Voices will be heard and the school boards will have to respond. Currently the school boards just rubber stamp the desires of the superintendents, school finance corporations, and teacher unions. There is no such thing as buffering education from politics. It’s still there. Why not make the candidates show their stripes.

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