By Reagan Reese
In 2022, conservatives flipped dozens of school boards across the county, enacting conservative priorities and amending school policies to increase transparency in the classroom.
Moms for Liberty, an organization of conservative parents and school board candidates working towards parental rights in education, and the 1776 Project PAC, a political group that helps school board members against Critical Race Theory (CRT) get elected, endorsed candidates that won many of their races to flip school boards in 2022. School boards throughout the country also banned CRT, adopted new gender identity policies to involve parents and ousted administration in favor of mask mandates.
“We’re gaining ground in the fight to hold school boards accountable,” Aiden Buzzetti, head of coalitions and candidate recruitment for the 1776 Project PAC, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “2022 was the year of the grassroots parental movement in this country. In 2023, we’re hoping to achieve the same or better results as local parent groups stay involved and rally their communities in the off year cycles.”
For example, in Brandywine, Michigan, the school board flipped to a conservative majority after four 1776 Project PAC candidates won their elections, according to the 1776 Project PAC. Similarly, Carroll County’s school board in Maryland flipped to a conservative majority following three successful campaigns of 1776 Project PAC-endorsed candidates.
In Florida, five school board candidates endorsed by the 1776 Project PAC won their elections in November, according to the 1776 Project PAC.
Of the 270 school board candidates endorsed by Moms for Liberty in 15 states, 140 won their elections, according to the Moms for Liberty. First time candidates won at a 74% rate and endorsed candidates in Florida won at a rate of 80%.
With Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ endorsement, five Florida county school boards flipped to conservative majorities in August.
“The 1776 Project PAC worked to reach out to Republicans who typically vote in presidential elections but miss these important off cycle elections,” Buzzetti told the DCNF. “By increasing voter turnout and focusing on the issues happening at their local school board, we were able to move voters to the ballot box to cast their vote for conservatives.”
After taking office, the school board candidates quickly took action; two Florida school boards with conservative majorities, Sarasota County School Board and Brevard County School Board, parted ways with their schools’ superintendents who oversaw the implementation and enforcement of mask mandates in Fall 2021.
In their first meeting after being elected, six members endorsed by Moms for Liberty on a school board in South Carolina banned CRT and set up a process to eliminate sexually explicit books. The board also voted along party lines to fire the school district’s superintendent and the district’s lawyer.
In Kansas, the Lansing School Board, which the 1776 Project PAC helped flip to a conservative majority in 2021, recently removed a social justice unit from the school district’s English Composition and English Literature courses, according to WDAF News. After a review of the unit, the school board found that CRT was embedded in the unit.
Tiffany Justice, co-founder of Moms for Liberty, told the DCNF that the wins in 2022 are just the beginning of the change school boards will enact.
“You’re gonna have school board members that are going to really work to prioritize, in their districts a focus on student academic achievement,” Justice told the DCNF. “Helping kids to learn to read. Enough of the alphabet soup nonsense of social emotional learning, diversity, equity and inclusion and Critical Race Theory. We’re hopeful the school board candidates are gonna go within and they’re gonna really change the way that the system is working.”
After being sworn in, the newly flipped conservative Temecula school board in California banned CRT through a resolution introduced by newly-elected Joseph Komrosky, who considered the policy part of keeping “a campaign promise.”
School boards such as Temecula are setting a new standard, Pastor Tim Thompson, founder of the Inland Empire Family PAC, a California-based group focused on parental rights in education that endorsed the three candidates, Danny Gonzalez, Jen Wiersma and Komorosky, told the DCNF.
“This is just the beginning,” Thompson told the DCNF. “I believe that the Temecula School Board is going to be a beacon of light to the rest of the state and the rest of the nation. If it can be done in Temecula. It can be done anywhere. If it can be done in California, you can do it anywhere.”
Livingston Parish School Board in Louisiana unanimously adopted a resolution prohibiting CRT and any “race-based training,” according to The Advocate. The school board called the decision a “preventative measure.”
Aside from CRT, school boards also amended their schools’ gender identity policies; in Wisconsin, the Rice Lake School Board passed a policy requiring students to have parent permission in order to change what pronouns and name they use at school.
A Texas school board unanimously adopted a policy which requires students to use bathrooms and locker rooms based on their biological sex rather than their gender identity, according to ABC 8. The Carroll ISD School Board in Texas voted to remove the terms “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” from the school’s nondiscrimination statement.
The Brandywine school board, Carroll County school board, Sarasota County School Board, Brevard County School Board, Berkeley County School Board, Lansing School Board, Livingston Parish School Board, Rice Lake School Board and Carroll ISD School Board did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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