Update: 7/20/23: As of Thursday, 16 people have filed for school board. The filing deadline is tomorrow. We are currently confident there are good and diverse candidates running. Our next step will be to vet all of the candidates, send them questionnaires, and have them fill out surveys so we can get a better understanding of their positions. Thank you. We have are overjoyed at the immediate response of our community to step up. If you’d like to get involved with Triangle Blog Blog (writing, candidate research) please email us: email@example.com. That reaches our entire board.
Update 7/18/2023: We have been thrilled by the outpouring of people who have reached out and stepped up in response to this blog post. Four people filed today: Mariela Hernandez, Scott McConnell, Hasan Abdullah, and Jane Gabin.
You can check the daily filing on the Orange County Elections website here. We will continue to update this post as candidates file, and encourage you to reach out if you’re curious about serving on the school board. We’re happy to help you navigate this process.
7/17/2023: 🚨 🚨 Red alert 🚨 🚨 — It’s the last week to file for the November elections, and no one has filed to run for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board where four seats are up. THAT’S BAD.
Two years ago, former Chapel Hill resident and right-winger Meredith Pruitt ran for school board. Her candidacy was part of a nationwide trend fomented by groups such as Moms of Liberty to take over school boards so that they can ban books, erase the existence of gay families from the classroom, and block efforts to address racial equity in education by complaining about “Critical Race Theory” and other boogeymen. Her campaign was funded by George W. Bush’s secretary of education (and Pruitt’s former boss) and former UNC system president Margaret Spellings, a buddy of state senate president Phil Berger, DC lobbyists, and a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation. She blanketed the community with signs, developed a professional-looking website that avoided rights-wing buzzwords, and met with local Republican groups.
Fortunately, there were several qualified candidates running for office and she lost, badly. And we have a good, progressive school board that is doing good work with indifferent state support to keep CHCCS strong.
But it’s hard to stop a right-wing takeover of a school board if right-wingers are the only ones to run. So far, no one has stepped up. We’ve heard inklings that a right-wing four-person block is ready to run. As it stands now, they’d win by default. We don’t doubt that they’re waiting to see if anyone files and will slip in before the deadline if they have a good chance of winning. By that time, it’ll be too late to do anything.
We need qualified people to run for school board. If you’re considering it, please reach out. We’re confident that you’ll get all the financial and volunteer support you’ll need for a successful campaign. (To be eligible, candidates must live in the CHCCS district and NOT be a current employee of the CHCCS school district. That means a current CHCCS employee could run, but would have to resign from their job if they win.)
Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll put you in touch with people who can answer your questions about running for school board (including former and current school board members).
WATCH: So You Want To Be A Board Member? With four seats on the CHCCS Board of Education up for election this November, CHCCS held an informational meeting last week for future candidates:
- Those who are interested in running for the Board should use this link for a video recording with more explanation (32 minutes).
- Both the video and an informational slide deck are posted to the Board’s page of the CHCCS website.