School board races have a history of being political

A recent article by Kare 11 asserts that “political ideology” has all of a sudden entered school board races across Minnesota because there are parent candidates running on “themes of a larger conservative movement.”

But school board races have a history of being political — that political involvement has just typically happened only on one side, writes Jarrett Skorup with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

It’s interesting that far-left teachers’ unions getting involved in school board races have hardly been mentioned in the media over the years, but as soon as conservative parents and groups supporting them start running, they are met by a critical media.

Indeed, Education Minnesota’s local union affiliates have a history of endorsing school board candidates, and this year they have endorsed 122 candidates across the state. Education Minnesota’s PAC sends money to eligible local unions for school board campaigns.

The teachers’ union even has a whole page dedicated to helping “create a campaign plan to win your…school board election,” including targeted phone, door-knock and mailing lists, and creating and printing mailers and other campaign documents the union creates.

This creates quite the cycle for the teachers’ union, and other public-employee unions, as Skorup explains:

1) Government unions fund and campaign for school board members and other politicians; 2) those same politicians then support generous pay and benefits, and force people to pay dues and fees to unions, ensuring that 3) a portion of the money is routed back to the public employee union to start the cycle again.

Bottom line: Teachers’ unions have long politicized education in general, and that is allowed to play out largely unquestioned.