FL Rep. Spencer Roach Files Legislation for Partisan School Board Elections

By Eric Daugherty, Florida's Voice

January 7, 2022 Updated 8:14 PM ET

Roach Headshot

Thursday, Florida State Representative Spencer Roach (R) introduced House Joint Resolution 35 that would place the party affiliation of school board candidates on their respective ballots.

Currently, school board candidates’ party affiliations are not printed on election ballots.

“There is now a clear partisan divide over issues of critical race theory, mask mandates, bathroom policies, and school choice. The crux of the debate is who should control a child’s education:  the government – or parents? I’ve always believed that in every electoral contest, the goal should be maximum transparency,” Roach remarked.

“Knowing the political affiliation of candidates should be a fundamental right for all citizens in a representative democracy. Why should we hide this information from voters?” 

For the amendment to pass, it must be ratified by three-fifths of each chamber. Subsequently, at least sixty percent of voters must approve the measure.

Roach’s amendment proposal emerges from Florida during an intense culture war with conservatives fighting against polarizing issues like teaching critical race theory to schoolchildren and mask mandates. 

School board candidates are low-profile and low-exposure compared to other candidates like Representatives, Senators, and the President. People are less likely to know what their school board members believe on hot issues.

Increasingly, Democrats largely support mask mandates and critical race theory, while Republicans oppose them.

Adding party affiliations of school board members to Florida ballots give voters an easier, streamlined avenue of determining who is most likely to represent them, rather than possibly picking a candidate that disagrees with them with an uninformed decision. 

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