Oklahoma’s Genius Idea: Hold School Board Elections on [Checks Notes] Election Day

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

OCPA carries my latest, on a bill in Oklahoma that would enact the truly extraordinary reform of holding school board elections on Election Day. The edu-special-interests hate the idea, because of course public schools are “the cornerstone of democracy” but not, like, the kind of democracy where schmucks like you and me get a vote:

It goes without saying that they consistently oppose, in the name of democracy, everything that might make education actually accountable to the people it’s supposed to serve. Whether it’s transparency about what is being taught or school choice policies or legal protection for parental rights, actual democracy is always somehow anti-democratic. Education schools have even invented elaborate political theories to justify defining “democracy” as their unaccountable rule over us.

One of the cornerstones of this strange kind of democracy is holding school board elections at extremely unusual times—generally in the spring. Surprising as this is to ordinary people who are blessedly unfamiliar with the techniques of political rent-seeking, it’s actually quite rare for school board elections to be held on Election Day. This ensures that only the most highly motivated voters participate – the special interests who profit by governing the system for their own advantage. So school boards, who are the front-line party responsible for negotiating terms with school employees, mostly represent the interests of the employees, not the public who pays for the system and is supposed to be served by it.

Let me know what you think!

3 Responses to Oklahoma’s Genius Idea: Hold School Board Elections on [Checks Notes] Election Day

  1. Malcolm Kirkpatrick says:

    Hawaii has a single, State-wide school district. The Governor appoints the Board. Hawaii had an elected Board until recently. School Board elections took place on the same day and at the same place, as national and State-level elections. It makes no difference (at least, in a district this size).

    • Greg Forster says:

      Hawaii is something of a different species, because it’s only one district; the absence of Tiebout incentives is probably more important there than any other factor. But of course we can’t study it to find out, precisely because it’s only one district so there are no variations between cases for us to compare.

  2. Scott hasson says:

    Great idea. More voters the better. Should also move school bonds to general election also.

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