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Partisan school boards advances despite Pfaff objections

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Today, a bill to establish partisan school board elections was approved in the elections committee, despite objections from Democrats, including State Rep. Tonya Pfaff (D-Terre Haute). House Bill 1074 would require that candidates for school board elections list their political affiliation on the ballot.

“In all of my years of teaching, I have never heard any concerns from parents that we need more politics in our classrooms,” Pfaff said. “Instead of addressing actual issues educators and students face – a lack of funding, understaffed schools and a lack of resources for students – this bill prioritizes politics over helping Hoosier children, families and educators. What difference does it make which political party a school board member belong to? If we truly want to keep politics out of the classrooms, as my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have been very vocal about, keeping school board elections nonpartisan is the only logical path forward to achieve that goal.”

In the State of Indiana, 290 school corporations oppose this bill as it is written. This bill was approved in committee along party lines, ignoring the wishes of school corporations across the state. 

“Who wants this bill and what problem is this bill seeking to fix,” asked Pfaff. “What qualifies a person to belong to a school board is their commitment to improving schools and educational outcomes for students in their communities. The desire to improve your community does not come from ‘Republican’ or ‘Democrat’ next to your name.”

“As this bill moves to the House floor, I will continue to speak out against this bill and urge teachers and parents to reach out to their legislators to express their opposition to this change.”

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