How to Run for School Board
Running for a school board seat is an excellent way to get involved in local politics. Education is always one of the biggest concerns and issues politicians concern themselves with, especially at the local level. A school board member has a significant amount of influence on the schooling of all children within the board’s jurisdiction. For this reason, becoming a member of a school board is a very appealing proposition for many people, especially parents.
Despite the importance and power of local school boards, elections tend to be lower profile for these seats than most other political offices, even other local offices like mayor. This means less campaigning, and much less pressure. If you are looking for a good intro office to start your political career in, a school board seat may be perfect for you. It also would be an excellent position for you to run for if you are very passionate about the education system. The position itself also tends to be a much lower workload than other political offices.
If you have made the decision to campaign for and try to obtain a school board seat in your community, here are the steps you will need to take to make it happen.
Become a Candidate
Every state and district has a different setup for their school board. Some have small boards, others have nine or more members. Some run elections yearly, while others do them as infrequently as every four years. So if you want to become a candidate for your local school board, you will first need to do your research and find out everything you can about the board. A lot of this information can sometimes be found online. If not, try going to the district office in your area.
Find out all you can about the election process for board members as well. You will likely have to do some paperwork, and comply with some general campaign rules. Again, this will vary depending on where you are located.
Once you’ve done the necessary research, file your candidacy paperwork. Do this as early as possible in order to establish yourself. At this point, you will be an official candidate for a seat in your school board in the upcoming election!
The campaigning process for a school board seat is normally short and simple. You likely won’t even need to really start campaigning until a few weeks before the election. But when you do start campaigning, be ready to put in lots of time and effort. Here are some of the best ways to campaign:
- Signs: Putting up signs in lawns is one of the most cost effective ways to campaign for a local office of any sort, and this especially holds true with school board elections where name recognition can decide who gets a vote.
- Talk to the Press: Often times local newspaper will interview all the candidates for local elections and write short bios on each of them before the election. Make sure to take advantage of those and show your best side. Try to find more press whenever you can as well.
- Use the Internet: Setting up a website is at the very least cheap, and sometimes free, in today’s world. Use the power of the exponential growth of the internet to reach your target audience. You should also take advantage of social media sites like Facebook, which can help you reach voters in your region easily.
If you win the election, be ready for lots of meetings and hard work ahead of you. If you do a good job in office, and the people you represent see that, you are likely to have an easy time of being reelected for another term if you wish.
Best of luck in the endeavor you have ahead of you!