Conservatives Secure School Board Victories across Country
Amid a mainstream media narrative claiming that conservative school board candidates were “drubbed” at the ballot box last Tuesday, dozens of school board candidates endorsed by 1776 Project PAC and Moms for Liberty won their races.
As the parental rights movement steadily gained grassroots momentum following the COVID pandemic of 2020, the 1776 Project PAC formed to counter the rising influence of critical race theory (CRT) and other controversial racial ideologies that have risen to prominence in public school curriculums by backing school board candidates who shared their vision. At the same time, Moms for Liberty formed to “educat[e] and empower parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government” and endorse school board candidates who shared their vision. Both groups watched their endorsed candidates pick up wins in dozens of races in 2022 and early 2023.
While last Tuesday’s elections saw candidates backed by both organizations lose ground in some states, dozens of other candidates earned victories. In a story published on November 8, the Associated Press claimed that the 1776 Project PAC “lost about 80% of their races nationally.” But as the 1776 Project PAC’s Ryan Girdusky pointed out, the group actually saw 58% of the school board candidates they endorsed win (the AP later amended their article acknowledging that the tally was disputed).
In all, the 1776 Project PAC saw 68 of its 118 endorsed candidates win last Tuesday. The wins came in a variety of locations across the country. In York County, Pa., the group won 36 out 37 candidates they supported. In Virginia, their endorsed candidates won two seats in Shenandoah County, two in Bedford County, two seats in the heavily contested races in Loudoun County, and a seat in Roanoke County. In addition, 1776 Project-backed candidates took control of the boards of the third-largest district in Texas and in the Houston suburb of Cypress-Fairbanks. They also made gains in Anoka-Hennepin, Minnesota’s largest district.
Meanwhile, Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice said last week that school board candidates that her organization endorsed won 50 races. “Would I have liked to win every race? Absolutely, I would have liked it,” she said. “But am I happy that 50 seats were won? Absolutely I am.” After Tuesday’s election, co-founder Tina Descovich noted that school board candidates backed by Moms for Liberty have now won 365 races in the last two years. Justice went on to share that her group is currently continuing to develop a political action committee in preparation for the 2024 elections.
Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, contended that the school board election results should not be surprising, and reflected the fact that the parental rights movement is still very much engaged in winning future school board races.
“The fake news media narrative is always in support of established power centers and never on the side of people,” she told The Washington Stand. “No one is surprised that suburban Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. has reinstated Democratic Party control over those large school systems. The voting bases in those areas [are] largely Democratic. The fact that they are crowing about it shows how shocked and scared they were after the school closure backlash from 2020-21.”
Kilgannon continued, “The media narrative also misunderstands or misreports the very generous support voters give to school systems and education spending generally. Parents support teachers being generously compensated for the difficult work they do, especially when they do it well. School bonds are almost always approved. Americans want an excellent school system and generally vote to fund it; the shame is that our children are not getting good returns on those investments.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.