‘Not a Flash in the Pan’: Tuesday’s School Board Wins Show Parents’ Power
While the victory of liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Janet Protasiewicz grabbed most of the election headlines on Tuesday, news of the significant number of wins by conservative school board candidates across the country flew under the radar. Experts say the victories are further proof of a growing and energized conservative parental rights movement.
As reported by The Daily Caller, 30 school board candidates endorsed by 1776 Project PAC won their races in Wisconsin and Illinois on Tuesday, with a total of 133 of the organization’s endorsed candidates winning school board races over the last two years.
“It doesn’t sound like a lot, 133, but when you magnify it by how many students there are, it’s millions and millions of students who have districts where they are not working to indoctrinate them, or there is someone pushing back on efforts to indoctrinate them,” said 1776 Project PAC founder Ryan James Girdusky.
Eight more school board candidates endorsed by Moms for Liberty also won their races in Wisconsin on Tuesday, continuing a pattern of successful endorsements and campaigns of conservative candidates. Notably, out of the 500 candidates that the organization endorsed in 2022, 275 won their elections, with 72% of first-time candidates earning victories.
The wins continue a wave of nationwide conservative energy focused on schools, where a burgeoning grassroots parental rights movement outraged over the inclusion of divisive ideologies like gender theory and critical race theory in school curriculums and the presence of sexually explicit material in school libraries is causing more and more concerned citizens to run for school board. Tuesday’s wins follow a groundswell of conservative school board victories in August and November of last year.
Tuesday’s victories also mark the beginning of a crucial year for conservatives seeking to reshape school boards across the nation, according to Brent Keilen, vice president of FRC Action.
“These results show that the conservative movement to get involved in school boards and protect students is not a flash in the pan,” he told The Washington Stand. “This is an effort that has been sustained over several years. This is encouraging to see. Sixty-nine percent of our nation’s school boards have races in 2023. If parents and concerned citizens continue to be involved, we have the opportunity to impact the boards for almost 70% of our nation’s public schools this year alone.”
Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, expressed further encouragement in the wake of the school board victories while also urging parents and voters to continue engaging on educational issues.
“These wins show that parents and citizens are still very engaged, ready to vote for and support candidates who value parental rights and academic excellence for schools,” she told TWS. “Parents need to keep showing up and hold elected officials accountable. We are building conservative support structures for our newly elected school board candidates: training that supports our core values, rather than relying on school board associations that are completely aligned with progressive, anti-family political machines at the state and national level.”
“There is a tremendous amount of work to be done for our children and families — work that will benefit all of society by making schools better, safer, and more academically rigorous,” Kilgannon concluded. “We look forward to working with candidates and school board members who want to make a difference.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.