By: Daniel Anderson
Voters pulled the lever on school board candidates in 25 of America’s largest and most volatile school districts on November 4, 2014. The intense debate over American public education grew more fierce in 2014 as parents, educators, reformers and residents fought over the implementation of Common Core, the establishment of charter schools, the adoption of teacher merit pay and other issues impacting the education of tens of millions of children.
Ballotpedia selected these 25 school board races for more extensive coverage due to a variety of factors. Many of the following districts are engulfed by education reform debates. Several are massive entities with more than 100,000 students enrolled, while others saw a shift in the board’s leadership and governing majority.
In Indianapolis Public Schools in Indiana, three education reform advocates in favor of charter schools and school autonomy ousted all three incumbents up for re-election and thereby solidified the board’s pro-reform governing majority. In Sweetwater Union High School District in California, a whole new school board was elected after a wave of criminal convictions and a retirement cleared the board of incumbents. Two of the former board members who were removed by law lost big at the ballot box in their comeback bids. In Omaha Public Schools in Nebraska, voters approved a $421 million bond measure, which was the largest Nebraska school bond issue in recent history.