Partison vs. Non-Partisan

Someone asked for the purpose of a non-partisan election.  The term non-partisan basically means the lack of a political affiliation.  With that said, our most notable non-partisan election is our school board election, where we expect our candidates to be running for the sake of the students and not a political party’s interest.  Additionally, we usually vote for support of judges and some positions in local and county elections using a non-partisan format.

On the other hand, partisan elections are built on battle lines with parties clashing for specific causes or outcomes.  Most people share a commonality for supporting a platform or list of shared ideologies.  For the past year, the partisan race for the presidency of the United States has been an excellent example of a partisan election.  There is no question the country has a two party system with several other parties competing for recognition also.

In our local school board elections, there is an absence of party affiliation and the candidates are running on their individual merits and views concerning their vision of education and their desire for helping the education process.  In 1647, the American Board of Education was born.  Later, the US Constitution, through the Tenth Amendment, left authority over education in the hands of the states who passed that authority to the local school boards.  In Utah, the locally elected members of the school board are empowered to make policy, control the budgets, and fiscal responsibility on behalf of the citizenry.  The functions and decisions of school boards are important; often those decisions made have a greater long-term impact on our communities and children than those of any other elected bodies of government.

Tracy Davis, Superintendent

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