Keep School Board Non-partisan

   |  Posted Jul 27th, 2007 @ 5:30am


In this highly partisan, politically charged state, Utahns are fortunate to have a Utah State Board of Education that is non-partisan. For the most part, the 15 elected state school board members aren't beholden to one political party or another.

In KSL's view, that's good. We hope it stays that way.

Unfortunately, some Utah lawmakers, particularly those of a strong partisan bent, are talking about changing the way state school board members are elected. One state representative is said to be drafting a bill that would turn the 15-member board into a 29-member board. The districts would replicate the state's 29 senate districts. And candidates for the positions would have to declare a political party, and make it through the traditional party convention nominating process.

It's not coincidental, in KSL's view, that such talk gained momentum earlier this summer when school board members found themselves at odds with certain lawmakers over the school voucher mess.

Regardless of what's driving the debate, the idea of turning the State Board of Education into a partisan body needs to be nipped in the bud. The idea of having school board members beholden to the machinations of party politics should be enough to make any sensible Utahn cringe.