Senator Dinniman Proposes Taking the ‘Politics’ Out of All Pennsylvania School Boards

In catching up on some of the state news, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Senator Andy Dinniman’s recent education bill 1086 bill was favorably approved by the Senate Education Committee.  I have always believed that the selection of our School Board directors should be nonpartisan and was pleased to learn that Senator Dinniman is making strides to create this environment. 

Senator Dinniman’s proposed bill would eliminate a party affiliation for school board candidates; their names would appear on the ballot without a designated party.  The school board candidates would not participate in the spring Primary Election — the candidates names would only appear on the ballot for the November General Election.  According to Senator Dinniman, Pennsylvania is one of only 3 states that still allows a partisan school board primary.  Changing to a nonpartisan school board would focus the attention away from politics and instead direct the attention of school board leadership directly on education and their fiscal responsibilities.  The bill proposes that instead of local political parties selecting and endorsing school board candidates for the spring primary, the candidates would be required to collect a certain number of signatures (the number of signatures required would be based on the population of the school district) and their name would appear on the November General Election ballot.

I completely support a nonpartisan school board approach for all school districts.  This bill would remove the selection of school board candidates from the local political parties and give over the power to the voters themselves.  You probably know that registered Independents in Pennsylvania are not allowed to vote in the spring primary.    So as far as the School Board election is concerned, removing School Board candidates from the spring primary would allow Independents more of a say in the selection process.

Senator Dinniman’s proposed legislation was unanimously approved by the Senate Education committee (which is comprised of 7 Republicans and 4 Democrats) and now will go to the Senate floor for action.  I am hopeful that Senator Dinniman’s Bill 1086 will receive unanimous support from the Senate – this would be a great way to kick off 2010!

6 Responses

  1. Go Andy- an excellent bill. Hopefully it will help create an atmosphere of non-partisanship. And maybe, just maybe, people will actually vote intellectually and not allow the republican conservative sheep (that’s how they vote, like sheep) to vote right wingers, who are unqualified, onto our schoolboards.

    • What the bill does do is give the left wing, pro-union morons a better chance of getting elected and screwing us even more than they have already.

      • Well anon… It has been our GOP controlled school board that apparently, has given those, as you call them, left-wing, pro-union morons, everything they have wanted.

        It’s what we call an inconvenient truth.

        • John, if you think that they have gotten ‘everything they wanted’ then you are an a blind fool.
          I agree, they get too much as it is, but with a board full of union-first members, it can only get worse.

  2. “not allow the republican conservative sheep (that’s how they vote, like sheep) to vote right wingers, who are unqualified, onto our schoolboards.”

    Wow, lovebooks, you sure have an interesting approach to “help create an atmosphere of non-partisanship.”

  3. Absolutely for Andy’s proposal. I would go one step further and open the entire primary system up. The political parties are antiquated devices. If people chose to be independent, they should not have to pay the price of disenfranchisement in primaries. I would simply get rid of primaries. LIke Andy’s school board idea, candidates could simply get their signatures to be on the ballot. I would have no problems picking amongst 10 candidates for 3-4 positions. With that ratio, we do it for judges all the time…

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