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.

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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. Under Bill’s leadership, SoonerPoll has become the leading public opinion polling company in the state of Oklahoma conducting more public opinion polls for Oklahoma news media than all other pollsters combined since 2006. Bill’s commitment to go above and beyond the AAPOR ethical guidelines of minimum disclosure ensures that SoonerPoll produces quality results every time. Bill has lectured at Oklahoma State University on developing polling methodologies, data collection processes, and advanced likely voter sampling techniques. Bill also serves as an on-air political commentator for Oklahoma television stations.

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