Sep 23, 2021 - Politics

Republicans move to make Florida school boards partisan

Illustration of a school street sign with the Republican Party logo on instead of icons of children.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Partisan politics could be coming to public school boards if a Florida House resolution is approved when the 2022 legislature meets.

  • If passed, HRJ 35, which was filed in August and referred to committee last week, would give voters the chance to change an aspect of the Florida constitution that calls for nonpartisan school board elections.

Why it matters: Partisan elections would raise the cost of competing for a board seat, and Florida’s closed primary system would shut unaffiliated voters out.

Supporters say voters want and deserve to know the political party affiliations of board candidates.

  • "The biggest sham in politics are nonpartisan races on the ballot, especially for school boards, as we’ve seen in the last year or two now," Christian Ziegler, the Vice-Chair of the Republican Party of Florida, told Bay News 9.

The other side: Critics say partisan races would polarize boards that handle arcane matters like bus routes and budgets.


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