Utahns for Public Schools

From an email to Toby Dillon:


I am involved in another matter of urgent nature. Some state legislators advocate changing the choice of school board members to partisan election. I believe the best needs of our children are served when school boards remain aside from partisanship. An organization of which I am a part, Utahns for Public Schools, is working to compile a list of citizens who likewise wish to retain non-partisan school boards. I am asking you to consider signing on. A simple response by return email is sufficient in this case.

The education of Utah’s children is best served by a non-partisan direct election of school boards by the people.

In the current system of selecting state school board members, a board of 12 people selects candidates in an easily manipulated system that denies much public involvement. Almost universally, people are suggesting the system be changed. I wholeheartedly agree. Republican legislator Jim Nielson is preparing a bill which would call for direct, non-partisan elections. I have endorsed his effort and support its passage.

However, some other legislators are poised to amend that bill to make the choice partisan, contrary to the existing system. While I would be extremely pleased to see the choice on the state level move to a direct election of the people (local boards already are), I am adamantly opposed to making the boards partisan.

Under such an approach, candidates for the school board would be chosen in the convention system. Education would become much more political, an approach which I believe the Constitution of the State of Utah discourages and which I believe would not be in the best interest of the children of the State.

The issue will certainly be debated and probably voted upon in the upcoming legislative session.

We are trying to gather a list of people who oppose the move to partisan school board elections at both state and local level. If you agree and would like to have your name included on such a list, would you please so indicate in a return email which you may send to me personally at: krb84010@aol.com.

A second request: If you have friends, Utah citizens, who you believe would also agree with this position, please forward the email to them.

Thank you for your interest and support in many matters.

Kim Burningham