School Board Elections are Tuesday & They’re a Big Deal

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School Board Elections are on the Ballot Tuesday

Gone are the days of sleepy school board meetings and uneventful school board elections.

As news outlets across the country have reported, school board meetings have become increasingly contentious, especially over the past year. Our local schools are experiencing this as well.

Election day is Tuesday, November 8, 2022

With election day, November 8, 2022, quickly approaching, the squabbling has moved from the board room to the campaign trail.

But, apart from the drama, many people are unfamiliar with how a school board actually operates or what they do. That’s where this article comes in.

The School Board is the Boss that You Get to Pick

If you’ve ever worked for a bad boss or a good boss, you’ll appreciate this analogy. In a good workplace, the leadership respects each other and focuses energy on accomplishing a common task.

When you vote for school board members, you’re not just voting for a person’s ideologies. You’re voting for their ability to lead, work on a team, set aside differences, and use your district’s resources wisely.

The school board is in charge of setting the “what” while the superintendent set the “how.”

You get to pick the kind of boss your school system has when you vote for school board members on Tuesday.

School Board Elections are at the End of the Ballot & are Nonpartisan

What does that mean?

Straight-ticket or single-issue voters might be thrown off when they get to the nonpartisan section of the ballot.

There are no R or D symbols next to a candidate’s name, even though a candidate may have political leanings.

Find Out Who & What is on Your Ballot

The State of Michigan has an easy-to-use form that allows you to see your ballot.

Michigan Ballot finder

Researching Candidates

It can be hard to locate information on school board candidates.

Most candidates have a website or a Facebook page – that is a good place to start.

You can also look for endorsements from organizations that align with your goals. While school board elections are nonpartisan, partisan groups have issued candidate endorsements.

Finally, talk to the current parents of students in your school district. The people that have kids in the schools right now are the ones that can tell you what is needed in their district. There are a lot of outside influences at work in local elections right now. Look at candidates’ campaign donations and funding sources to see if non-local entities are getting involved.

We’ve included links to several candidate surveys, etc that we found.

Where to Vote & How to Register

In Michigan, you can register to vote and vote in person up until – and on – Election Day at your city or township clerk’s office.

You must be in your city or township clerk’s office by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to register and vote in the general election.

If you’re registered have questions about where to go, this link will also help.

FAQs

What do School Board Members Do?

According to the Michigan Association of School Boards, the board, working with its community, has five major leadership responsibilities:
1) To envision the district’s education future and then set goals to guide the district toward that vision.
2) To ensure district resources (financial, personnel, facilities, etc.) and policies are aligned in a manner that supports goal attainment and actualization of the district’s vision.
3) To hire, work closely with and evaluate a superintendent who’ll effectively implement the board’s policies and manage the district to accomplish its goals.
4) To monitor and assess the district’s performance and to keep the public informed and engaged.
5) To advocate for students and public schools within the community and at state and national levels.

Typically, a school board member is expected to make decisions on a wide range of issues including:
◦ Approving plans for facilities and technology.
◦ Setting priorities for school district expenditures.
◦ Overseeing the district’s educational programs.
◦ Monitoring and ensuring the efficacy of school improvement efforts.
◦ Approving contracts, including collective bargaining agreements and administrator contracts.

The school board also works closely with the superintendent. The superintendent is accountable to the school board for managing the district according to board policies.

What qualifications are needed to run for a seat on the school board?

To run for a seat on the school board, the candidate must:
◦ Be a registered voter in the school district where they are a candidate
◦ Be at least 18 years of age
◦ A citizen of the United States
◦ A resident of the state of Michigan for at least 30 days
◦ Be a resident of the school district on or before the 30th day prior to the date of the election
Source

Are school board members paid?

Typically, school board members are volunteers and do not receive a salary. Some districts provide a small stipend for meeting attendance or task completion. This can vary greatly from district to district.

District School Board Elections

Below are samples of what the ballot looks like for many local school board elections. While not a complete list, hopefully it will get you started when looking into your local race.

Allendale Public Schools

allendale public - school board elections

Belding Public Schools

belding public - school board elections 2022

Byron Center Public Schools

byron-center-public-school-board-elections-2022
caledonia - school board elections 2022

Comstock Park Public Schools

comstock park - school board elections 2022

Coopersville Area Public Schools

coopersville area public - school board elections 2022

East Grand Rapids Public Schools

East Grand Rapids Candidate Survey

east grand rapids public - school board elections 2022
forest hills public - school board elections

Grand Rapids Public Schools

GRPS School Board Candidate Forum

grand rapids public - school board elections 2022

Grandville Public Schools

grandville public - school board elections 2022

Grand Haven Public Schools

grand haven area public - school board elections

Holland Public Schools

holland public - school board elections

Hudsonville Public Schools

Hudsonville Public Candidate Survey

hudsonville public - school board elections 2022

Jenison Public Schools

Jenison Public Candidate Survey

jenison public - school board elections 2022
kenowa hills public - school board elections 2022

Kentwood

kentwood public - school board elections 2022
lowell area - school board elections 2022
northview public - school board elections 2022

Rockford Public Schools

rockford public - school board elections

Sparta Area Schools

sparta area - school board elections 2022

Thornapple- Kellogg Public Schools

thornapple kellogg - school board elections 2022

Wyoming Public Schools

wyoming public - school board elections 2022

Zeeland Public Schools

zeeland public - school board elections 2022

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