January 25, 2012
Bill Shapard

Education Establishment Prefers Low Voter Turnout

By Brandon Dutcher, OCPA

Ever wonder why local school boards often represent their constituents poorly? It’s because most of Oklahoma’s center-right majority doesn’t vote in school-board elections.

In a speech last year at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels explained why Indiana decided to move its local school board elections from the spring to the fall.

In the spring, he said, “nobody votes. It’s a lot easier to dominate, for a small or for an interest group to dominate the outcome and elect a friendly school-board in the sparsely attended primary elections.”

Oklahoma should follow Indiana’s lead. Because as Hoover Institution fellow Bill Evers points out, Progressives have been able to transform our local school districts through such things as “nonpartisan elections, district boundaries that did not match other jurisdictions, [and] holding school elections at times other than that of the General Election.”

So instead of electing school-board members who represent the views of Oklahoma’s center-right majority (see chart), we find ourselves with school-board members who represent the views of the education establishment whose voter-turnout apparatus put them into office. And this results in bad public policies. I’ll cite five examples.

ContinuedClick here to read the entire OCPA article

Bill Shapard
About the Author

Bill Shapard

Bill is the founder of SoonerPoll.com and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.