School Board by district?

If you are like many Anchorage voters, you really had no idea who to vote for in the recent election’s School Board races. You likely were asking yourself: Who are these people? Are they conservative? Liberal?

There is good reason for that. The School Board races are area-wide, which means all voters in the city cast their ballots for School Board candidates and balloting is not by district, as in Assembly races. That makes for candidates who are not as well known in most instances.

That needs to change.

Area-wide voting proponents say the system keeps politics out of the contests and off the board; that it is better to have board members represent all schools in the Anchorage School District rather then just a few.

We believe representing all schools is not much different from representing no schools at all and that it leads to election contests where nobody is sure who to vote for. Further, no one, elected-official is responsible for specific schools.

School Board races should be the same as Assembly races, by district. It would make for better representation on the board for specific schools and make it easier for voters to know the candidates. Additionally, people in a district would have a closer connection to their representative and the board. How could that be a bad thing?

It is a win-win for schools.

Just sayin’.

One Response to School Board by district?

  1. Lee Jordan April 15, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Several years ago, I was among members of VOICE (Vote Openness In Choice in Education), a group pushing for school board districts. At that time all but one member of the board came from one elementary school area. Neighborhood needs are best represented if policy-makers come from individual neighborhoods. Opponents said we were looking to create Chicago-style wards–a false impression effectively delivered. Alaskans are too independent-minded to want long-distance representation.


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