Several groups have published voter guides and are holding public forums to inform voters ahead of the 2024 school board elections. (Photo by Maksim Kabakou / Adobe Stock)

School board voter guides include nominees’ positions, more

Jarek RutzEducation, Headlines

Several groups have published voter guides and are holding public forums to inform voters ahead of the 2024 school board elections. (Photo by Maksim Kabakou / Adobe Stock)

Several groups have published voter guides and are holding public forums to inform voters ahead of the 2024 school board elections. (Photo by Maksim Kabakou / Adobe Stock)

With this year’s school board elections less than a month away, several organizations have once again published voter guides to help those participating make an informed decision on the ballot. 

This year’s election is rather light – with just 19 candidates campaigning across eight races.

RELATED: 19 to compete for 8 seats in May 14 school board elections

The guides do not endorse any candidates. Rather, they detail a person’s background, some of their motives and ideologies that motivated them to run, as well as goals if they were to be elected to one of the eight open seats across Delaware.

For each guide, there are several candidates who either declined to participate or did not respond to the organization.

The guides also contain information on where and how to vote in the elections, and what to bring to be eligible to vote.

Click on the organization’s name to be directed to its 2024 voter guide.

ACLU Delaware 

In addition to a hefty biography of candidates, ACLU Delaware also lists their answers to the same 12 questions.

The questions give readers a glimpse into the candidates’ positions on hot-topic education issues, such as defining equity, how to combat biases against minorities, plans to ensure school safety, and opinions on inclusivity for students regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status and more.

It also asked the candidates fiscal questions like how the candidate will ensure financial transparency, and how disadvantaged students would receive more funding for resources in light of the recent independent report that found public schools across the state are underfunded by $600 million dollars and recommended increased per-pupil funding, transparency, and the flexibility to allocate resources.

“Voting in your school board election is one of the best ways to ensure that the needs and concerns of your community are heard,” said Andrew Bernstein, a Cozen Voting Rights Fellow at ACLU Delaware added. “When we support candidates who are committed to the well-being of our children and schools, we’re laying the foundation for a stronger, more prosperous community where everyone can succeed.”

The guide is also available in Spanish, and features key information about voter accessibility.

“One in four adults has a disability; yet people with disabilities have long faced some of the greatest barriers to participating in our elections,” said Joann Kingsley, Voting Rights Advocate with the Disabilities Law Program at Community Legal Aid Society. “In every aspect of our Coalition’s voter education work, we must ensure that the voices, experiences, and needs of voters with disabilities are centered.” 

Citizens for Delaware Schools

The group designed to inform the public about the alarming state of Delaware’s public education system and the rise in behavior problems in the classroom released its voter guide for this year. 

“This is the second year we published this guide, and the impetus behind it was to really give voters as much opportunity to learn about the candidates and to encourage them to show up to the polls to vote for school board elections, “ said Nancy Mercante, president of the organization.

She said in regard to education in Delaware, school board elections are the one place where people can really have an impact with their vote.

In addition to asking six survey questions on many of the key issues in education, and it also spells out how to vote, where to vote, who’s eligible to vote, and what one must bring to the polling place to cast a ballot. 

“[The elections] have everything to do with whether or not our children and families and future workforce and communities can thrive in the future,” Mercante said.

It also lists the job duties of a school board member, which includes tasks like hiring the district superintendent and holding them accountable, ensuring the district’s financial health, responding to the public and impacted community members and more. 

Mercante also encourages voters to attend the forums held by First State Educate, a state education advocacy group focused on improving outcomes for Delaware’s youth.

Here are this year’s forums, which are all held virtually:

  • Christina School District: Monday, April 22 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Appoquinimink School District: Tuesday, April 23 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Red Clay Consolidated School District: Tuesday, April 30 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Colonial School District: Wednesday, May 1 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Register for the meetings here.

League of Women Voters Delaware

The League of Women Voters is a national group that aims to empower voters and defend democracy through advocacy, education and litigation at the local, state and national levels.

Viewers of the group’s voter guide can enter their address here to find out the races specific to their district.

“Despite making up the largest body of elected officials in the country, school board elections receive little attention and suffer from extremely low voter turnout rates,” said Jill Itzkowitz, treasurer of the League of Women Voters. 

During the 2023 school board election, no school board district in Delaware saw more than a 10% voter turnout, and most remained well below 5%. 

“Last year, a school board race was decided by just four votes,” Itzkowitz said. “Our voter education efforts aim to equip Delawareans with the knowledge to talk to friends, family, and neighbors about why every vote matters in this year’s school board elections.” 

The guide See tells people who is on their ballot, allows them to check their voter registration status, find their polling place, discover upcoming debates or public forums and more.

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