Extremists are taking over our school boards

Something strange is happening with our school boards. In the past few years, local school board elections went from being low-funded, grassroots campaigns to becoming battlegrounds for extremist takeovers. National conservative political groups are pouring excessive amounts of money into these races to get extremists elected to school boards all across America. And it’s happening in your district too.

In 2021, school board races started getting more attention as extremists began manipulating the frustration parents were feeling about COVID-era school closures.You probably even had conversations with parents in your community who were extremely upset over school closures and mask mandates. That created an opening for  outside groups to latch on to that anger and use it to turn those parents against public schools. A loud, vocal minority of parents started disrupting school board meetings, demanding that schools re-open and that mask mandates stop. 

In the midst of this chaos, Moms for Liberty was founded, and the parents angry about masks started speaking up at school board meetings with other concerns – banning books, attacking curriculum,and gutting diversity and equity policies. And these attacks didn’t just happen at the school board meetings. They even targeted school board members at their homes. Suddenly being a school board member, or even an advocate for public education could result in personal attacks. 

What’s even more disturbing is that these school board fights are meant to look like grassroots efforts, but in reality they’re actually part of a larger attempt by extremist groups to take over school boards and eventually dismantle public education. If that sounds pretty extreme, it’s because it is. And extremist politicians are actually saying it out loud. And that’s really the bottom line here: public education benefits all of our kids, but extremists want to take it away.

These attacks are hurting our public schools, our teachers and most importantly our kids. Children shouldn’t be paying the price for extremism – but they are. 

“I think school boards are being used to dismantle public education in a number of ways. I think ultimately, the promise of our country’s public education system was to provide a high quality, free, and fair public system of schools…and everyone benefits from a high quality, free and fair education.” – Carrie Douglas, School Board Partners

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Check out more eye opening content from this series, The Cost of Extremism.