Several legislators have introduced bills to make school board elections partisan in nature. Currently, school board candidates run for office without being nominated by a party or declaring a party affiliation. Rep. Cash has introduced HB 1036 which would require candidates for school board elections to be nominated by political parties like with other local elections.
Rep. Morrison has introduced HB 1074 which would require school board candidate’s party affiliation to be stated on the ballot and certificate of nomination. In other words, a candidate wouldn’t have to be nominated by the party but they would have to declare a party affiliation. Under this legislation, a candidate can state whatever they want as their party affiliation (or “independent” if they don’t identify with a party). However, a declared affiliation as a Republican or Democrat can be challenged. If the challenger shows that the candidate did not either vote in the Republican or Democratic primaries (as the case may be) in the most recent two elections or get a certification from the county party chair, the candidate can’t claim affiliation with that party. If I’m reading the legislation correctly, a declaration that the person is independent or Libertarian or Green Party or anything else isn’t subject to challenge. (Which, if we’re going to do this, seems suspect. The person who lives in a far left school board district but has voted Republican every election since the 80s can run for school board under a socialist label if he or she wants.)
Sen. Sandlin has introduced SB 188 which reads pretty much the same as Rep. Morrison’s HB 1074.
Whatever issues school boards have, I don’t see these proposals making them any better.