2015 Bills

SJR5: Constitutional Amendment to Change School Board from Election to Appointment

This bill passed the Senate 24-5 but was not considered in the House.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill.

Legislation in years past, and in this session as well, has sought to alter the process by which candidates for the Utah State Board of Education are nominated and eventually elected.

One of the chief concerns has been the current power of the Governor to appoint a committee that has the power to terminate candidacies of persons they prefer not to see elected to the Board.

Senator Ann Millner, formerly president of Weber State University, has sponsored a bill that would put a proposal on the ballot for Utah voters to amend the state constitution to increase the Governor’s power over how the Board is constituted. Specifically, this proposal, if adopted, would change the positions on the Board from election to appointment. The Governor’s selection of each Board position would only need to be approved by the Senate.

Those concerned with the centralization of power will, almost instinctually, reject this proposal—and rightly so. A government board that oversees billions of taxpayer dollars should not come under the control and whim of a single elected official, however well intentioned he or she may be. Voters need more oversight and accountability for Board positions—not less.

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  • Susan Jordan

    Guest

  • Susan Jordan

    School board members should be elected, not appointed. They should also be required to be, or have been, a licensed educator. We educators are experienced in the true abilities and needs of our children.

  • Brian Dickey

    I agree that the state school board shouldn’t be appointed.  I’m not in favor of this bill, however the current situation is essentially the same.  According to my understanding the governor already picks who can run for office, making it essentially that he picks.

  • Darla

    I disagree, Susan. Parents have even greater insight into their children and should not be excluded from participating in decisions that impact their education just because they aren’t licensed educators.

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