Making Democracy Work

The League's School Board Project

The League has been hard at work on its School Board Project for the past year. This focus on upcoming school board elections is a critical first step to help our children by encouraging the best leaders possible to be candidates for local school boards. The League wants to elevate the conversation around that election and create teams that will help voters understand what is at stake.

Why SC Needs School Board Excellence

The League of Women Voters is deeply concerned about public education and the 113,000 children served by public schools in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties. Whatever other educational opportunities there may be, the vast majority of our children depend on public schools. Our children are our country's future. The League was not surprised but nonetheless disappointed by the recent South Carolina Supreme Court decision that reversed an earlier decision, letting the South Carolina legislature off the hook for ameliorating the "corridor of shame" along I-95. These rural and mostly African-American schools cannot improve without a funding formula that ungirds poverty districts. All the more reason that our local school boards are important and that we must come together as a community to build a strong, informed public advocacy for public education.

The League at Work to Elevate School Boards

For two years the League has been actively advocating the value of school boards. In February of 2018 the Charleston Area League sponsored a free workshop for potential candidates and heard from Scott Price, Executive Director of the South Carolina School Board Association. He detailed the the important duties of school board members. Scott Price Brian Hicks, columnist for the Charleston Post and Courier, responded to League efforts with Run for -- Not From -- Your Local School Board. Melinda Hamilton, League President, published a letter in the Charleston Chronicle. She noted that about a third of voters skip the school board elections at the bottom of their ballots. She stressed that "the need to provide high quality education for all the children in our public schools has never been greater. Almost half of these children come from low income homes. Public education is their best and perhaps only opportunity to break through the barrier of poverty."

How to Choose a Candidate

School Board Candidates are at the bottom of your ballot. Voting Straight Ticket will not register votes for school board; these are nonpartisan races. Find info on your school board candidates at www.vote411.org What does a school board do? What should you look for in a candidate? Here are some answers from GreatSchools.org.

We have also invited School Board Candidates in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester to participate in our online candidates guide, www.Vote411.org, so look for more information on your candidates and see your personalized ballot there!