As the New Year approaches, I find myself thinking a lot about the school board and the ramifications of moving Board of Education elections back to April.
I am not talking about the cost of the election, just about dates right now. Sometime in November the BOE voted to move the school board election back to April, as reported by David Rutherford on his blog. For the past four years, the election has been held in tandem with the general election in November. The board had the right to move it back at this time and must inform the county clerk of the decision by January 25, 2016, 85 days prior to the election on the third Tuesday in April.
This means the filing deadline for school board candidates will be February 29, not July 25.
The election will be April 19, not Nov. 8.
School board candidates must file petitions with the school board secretary, not the county clerk.
Every year, three three-year terms on the nine-member board come up for election. (There may also be unexpired terms on the ballot if vacancies occur.) Just as candidates elected in years prior to the change to November had to serve an extra eight months, the terms of incumbents may be shortened by several months.
The board's reorganization is scheduled for Jan. 5, when November winners Richard Wyatt Jr., John Campbell and Emily Morgan will take office for what would have been 3-year terms, but what may turn out to be less time if future reorganizations take place in May.
Although the change supposedly took place in November, no resolution to make the change appears on November agendas. The resolution was apparently a "walk-in," which added a surprise factor to the change. In 2012, the City Council had to inform the board of its intention to vote on changing the election to November, but there does not seem to be any requirement for the board to inform the governing body ahead of the vote.
Anyone who wants to serve on the Board of Education should check the Election Dates posted on the county clerk's website or on the state Election Division's website.
See more on moving November school election back to April.
Whatever the merits or problems of April vs. November school board elections, prospective candidates have to inform themselves of the timetable.