I have a fair number of things that bug me politically--that I would do differently if I could persuade enough people to agree with me. I'm glad for the Deseret News having reminded me of one of them recently. I don't like the way candidates for State School Board are put on the ballot.
...[in] the current system  a commission screens applicants, passing on names to the governor, who picks two for each final district race. Voters then choose between those two.Why? Makes no sense to me. During a time when it has become increasingly obvious that the Utah Education Association wants only what's best for itself, it is timely that we reconsider this law and get it fixed.
Who is on the commission that screens the applicants? Are they allowed to confab with SOE Board Chairman Kim Burningham, so that they can weed out anyone who is in favor of providing scholarships for private education vouchers or anything else that detracts from the public education system's virtual deadlock on Utah education?
How board members are elected is not in the Constitution; it just says that board members will be elected, not appointed.Right now they're as good as appointed. Two choices, rather than one, is a pretty slick way to get around the Constitutional requirement. The Deseret News continues:
The non-partisan Constitution Review Commission will study how, or if, the governance of the board should be changed, with a report to the 2008 Legislature.I say, let us vote. Let us really decide, instead of the muckety mucks. I hope you agree. But then again, I am advocating "choice", apparently a taboo word when it comes to education in Utah.
It may turn into an emotional fight, complete with strong personalities holding strong opinions, especially about private school vouchers.
"I don't like the current hybrid system" of electing the 15 State School Board members, House Speaker Greg Curtis says. "We should just have direct elections"
Said Curtis: "It may well be that we don't need any (constitutional) change. And I'm not necessarily advocating a change" — other than having direct elections of State School Board members, which the Legislature can do through statute without changing the Constitution.
Have good people been 'appointed' to the State Board of Education? Of course. The current system doesn't completely preclude that. In fact I know of at least one excellent member of the current Board, and others probably exist. What I'm saying is that the current method of 'electing' state board members is not really an election, as it should be.
The Soviet Communists did everything by appointment, despite their offering of sham elections. The current system of 'appointelecting' state school board members would make the Soviets proud.