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The Most Important Candidates You Probably Won’t Vote for on Tuesday

School board members are among the most powerful elected officials in the country -- don't waste your franchise.

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

November 4, 2013 - 12:28 pm
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While we spend a lot time, money, and bandwidth worrying about Congress and the next president, we underestimate the enormous amount of control school boards have over our lives and the education of our children. In Ohio, we have an organization called Ohioans for Educational Freedom that focuses on informing people about education issues. They have a PAC that works to elect conservative state school board candidates and was integral in electing several in the last election. In the 2010 State Board of Education election, a conservative board member was elected by a mere 2300 votes out of 239,000 cast in her district. The margin between the top two candidates — the second place candidate was heavily funded by the unions — was 1 percent. The Ohioans for Educational Freedom website received nearly 2 million hits during that election season, mobilizing homeschoolers and other supporters of school choice to elect a candidate who supported their educational philosophy by educating them about the views of the candidates in that district.

We need more focused groups like Ohioans for Educational Freedom and we need to expand their reach. They need our financial support and grassroots help to elect good candidates who support conservative principles in education.

As a voter, it’s imperative that you learn about the candidates who will rule over your family from these state and local boards and that you choose wisely on election day. If you don’t have a group you trust that vets the candidates, get their phone numbers from your local board of elections and call them. It can be completely awkward — I’ve done it — but afterward you will have a better understanding of where they stand on the issues that are important to you. In the process, you will have the opportunity to voice your opinions and begin to build a relationship with the potential new board member. And you may be surprised to find a candidate who shares your views and welcomes your input and help in his election and afterward, during his term in office.

Ultimately, school board elections, while often ignored and disregarded, will be among the most important you will see on your ballot on Tuesday. Don’t waste your franchise by voting present.

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Recently "retired" from homeschooling, Paula is an unapologetic Christian and Constitutional conservative. Though she aligns politically with the Tea Party, she is a member of the Wayne County Republican Executive Committee. She is also a contributor at Ohio Conservative Review. Paula lives in N.E. Ohio with her husband, three dogs, and two parrots.

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Top Rated Comments   
Right on target, Paula. Even we homeschoolers need to pay close attention to these races, and work for good candidates.

Our future depends on it.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (5)
All Comments   (5)
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If you don't have time to research the candidates or don't have a vetting group you trust, just call the NEA or AFT or the local teachers' association or union if unaffiliated. Lie if necessary and ask them who they've endorsed, then vote for anybody else.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Representing OEF, while I certainly appreciate Paula's write-up, she was not aware that we are also moving into new phases on our web site. We are in the planning stages of an aggressive addition to our site.

In 2010, we rolled out a clickable map of the State Board of Education. In 2013, we rolled out clickable maps of the Ohio House and Ohio Senate. Next year we plan on having a county-by-county page of listed candidates and endorsements. After that. we will be in the planning stages of judicial candidates and endorsements.

Each step has been highly dependent on two things, time and money. The more funds OEF can gather, the quicker the programming time. We have the staging area ready for the county-by-county page system, but there is no information, currently, because we didn't have enough time for the roll out. And my time was at a premium with my wife's cancer treatments this year. The tragedy was that we could not roll out the county-by-county quick enough or we would have had school board candidates listed this year.

The county-by-county pages will look similar to this: http://www.ohioansforfreedom.com/OhioByCounty/Stark.aspx
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Representing OEF, while I certainly appreciate Paula's write-up, she was not aware that we are also moving into new phases on our web site. "

Was that a sentence?
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Right on target, Paula. Even we homeschoolers need to pay close attention to these races, and work for good candidates.

Our future depends on it.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
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