Trust the LWV’s advice against an elected Montclair school board (Letter to the editor)
The League of Women Voters has spoken: We should listen.
“The League of Women Voters of the Montclair Area is in favor of an appointed Board of Education as the best avenue to continue the improvement in educational outcomes for all the children in Montclair," the group wrote in a guest column published in Montclair Local in October.
The LWV then went on to detail 14 significant, well-researched reasons it had come to this conclusion. Moreover, the LWV debunked the notion that an elected board better represents the will of the citizens. It does not.
Here are just a few of the several reasons LWV determined that an elected board would not deliver on its promise of increased representation:
• Generally, few residents actually vote in such elections. With typical voter turnout at less than 10%, a single-issue candidate could win with very few votes.
• "Elected members often get locked into an issue during a campaign and may serve only their constituencies without taking into account the broader school community."
• "An elected board runs the risk of candidates being beholden to campaign contributions. In the May 2020 municipal election, the candidates spent between $8,000 to more than $100,000 each to win seats on the Township Council."
• "An appointed board provides for a greater field of potential candidates." The LWV's ... "survey of past board members showed that the majority would not have run for elected office because of the cost of running and the time it takes for campaigning and raising funds."
There is no good reason to encourage a greater focus on politics. We don’t need more politicians or more political agendas.
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