School board election dates changed

With the passage this week of SB 427—along with the House passage of HB 4005—school  board elections will be held at the general election in November of even-numbered years, effective Jan. 1, 2012.

Supporters of the bill cite cost savings as a primary reason for the move. Stand-alone school board elections can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000. Higher voter turnout is another reason for the legislation.

MEA did not support these bills. With more than 90 percent of school districts currently holding elections in even-numbered years, there may be no cost-savings—or even an increase in costs—with the shift. And there’s skepticism that this is yet another Republican attempt to influence the outcome of elections and override local control.