Utahns Against Common Core is asking Utahns to sign a transparency in voting petition immediately. It will be seen on Capitol Hill tomorrow morning.
The issue is one of power. Should the Governor hold the power over who gets to sit on the state school board, or should Utah’s voters get to decide? This is such a foundational measure. If the people themselves cannot possibly get decision makers elected who think differently from the powerful elites who marry corporate and federal aims and remove local control, then we have no hope of ever getting free of things like Common Core or the forced use on children of the State Longitudinal Database System.
There are competing bills right now that push for more or less voter control of decision making; either the Governor gets even more power than he already has, in appointing the board; or else, voters get increased power because voting will be totally transparent, partisan, and run just like the elections for other elected representatives in our state.
Please sign the petition now. The opposition is circulating a petition to bring to the Capitol tomorrow as well.
It is so a no-brainer to those of us who believe in representative government and the voice of the people. But it’s not a sure thing at all.
Although it seems almost unthinkable that there are so many people in our supposedly conservative state who want the Governor to be able to appoint people rather than to have open, transparent, partisan elections, that is what is happening.
Even if you happen to like the current governor’s line of thinking, what happens years from now when you don’t?
Decision making power over our schools and our children’s lives should not be concentrated in one man. It’s unAmerican, dangerous, and stupid to allow the centralization of power. We have a greater likelihood of not corrupting our state when we allow the people to choose, and to debate, and to vote transparently.
For those who didn’t know– our current process for getting new state school board members is not okay. It is centralized and corrupt, already. But the opposition wants to make it more easily controlled by the elites.
This is how it currently works: a governor-appointed committee interviews candidates for state school board, giving them, among other things, a questionnaire that is biased to the governor’s aims. (It asks, among other things, if the candidate supports the Utah Core/Common Core). So people who think independently will never even make it to the interview. Then the committee interviews a narrowed group, further narrows it to three people; the governor chooses two of them, and passes those two names on to voters. Utah voters never get any transparency, and only get choice a or b. (This reminds me of the old Ford ads: You can have any color, as long as it’s black.)
Petition language – from Utahns Against Common Core:
We, the undersigned, support SB 104, Education Elections and Reporting Amendments, which uses partisan elections to vet candidates and allow locally elected delegates to narrow the voting field of candidates who appear on the ballot. Partisan elections are used with great success in all other major elections in Utah and it makes perfect sense to allow the same process to function in large scale elections for school board members. The Salt Lake Tribune editorial of 10-30-2014 stated that there is no reason to come up with a new method of electing school board members. They stated:
“Actually, they don’t need to invent a thing. All they have to do use the same system we use to choose other state office holders. The process that is good enough to elect governors, attorneys general and members of the Legislature… People who want to be on the state school board should go through the same process as people who want to serve in the Legislature… It’s good enough for legislators. It should be good enough for school board members.”
The current system is broken. It guarantees that a single political party comprised of the UEA, USBA, and other educator organizations, dominate the election of the people on school boards.
- Locally elected delegates vet candidates most effectively
- Increased transparency by highly effective caucus delegates
- Lower cost to run for office
- More people engaged in the issues important to education
- Board members still represent all the people, just like you represent all your constituents
- Partisan elections are constitutional
- Party affiliation just lets you know where their core principles stand
- State GOP Resolution strongly requested the legislature pass partisan elections
- Utah County GOP Resolution strongly requested the legislature pass partisan elections
- Not passing SB 104 would be hypocritical since it is the same system used to elect you
I further request that no bill be passed that involves empowering the governor to appoint board members. The 15 state school board members have control of half of the state’s budget. Empowering them to be appointed by the governor instead of through the caucus system that has produced the “best managed state” in the union would be folly and give too much power to one individual.