Attention School Board Candidates & Potential Candidates

From Jim Long, Vice President of Government Affairs, Illinois Policy Institute:

Running for your local school board is a courageous thing to do. It’s also one of the most meaningful things you can do, because, as former U.S. Rep. Tip O’Neill put it, “All politics is local.” 

People get fired up about national and state politics, but we often overlook local government, which is responsible for everything from education to public safety, and we’ve got the property tax bills to prove it. 
Like anything worthwhile, the hardest part is taking the first step. We are here to help.

While the April 4, 2023, local elections seem far off, candidates must act now to get on the ballot. Over 200 people have reached out telling us they want to run!

Why do school board races matter?

Here are some of the things school board members influence:

  • Property taxes: Nearly two-thirds of our property taxes go toward local school districts. 
  • Keeping kids in school: Illinois students have been harmed by teacher strikes and school closures during the past several years. 
  • Keeping parents in the know: The best learning environment is a partnership between teachers and families.

To do that, parents need to understand what their children are learning in the classroom. There is safety in numbers, so depending on your school board and its composition you may want to recruit fellow concerned citizens to run with you as a slate.

We’ll discuss in future emails the advantages and disadvantages, but in the meantime feel free to share this email with your friends. 

To run, you need to collect 50 signatures from registered voters in your district (think friends, neighbors, church members, etc).

To be safe, you probably should shoot for 75-100. [I’d suggest 100.]

Those signatures, along with filing papers, [plus a receipt from the County Clerk’s Office showing yoiu have filed you income disclosure statement] must be submitted by Dec. 19, and can be filed as early as Dec. 12. You will have until Jan 26 to withdraw from the election, but you can’t get into the game unless you file your petitions first.

Do you need more information to help make your decision?

The Leadership Institute is conducting a full day School Board Candidate Training in Naperville, Illinois on Saturday Dec 3, 2022.

The program will run from 9 am –  5 pm with the agenda covering all things you need to know about running a campaign, including

  • What a School Board Should Do,
  • How to be a Good School Board Member,
  • Campaign Strategy,
  • Message Development,
  • Fundraising Tools and
  • Building a Volunteer Force.

The session includes breakfast and lunch, with training from some of the best experts in the country, all for a $25 registration fee.

If you’re interested in learning more, fill out this form to let us know.


Now’s the time to get involved. Reply and find out how to take the first step.
We’d love to help you get started.

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The Leadership Institute is a FIRST CLASS organization


Attention School Board Candidates & Potential Candidates — 7 Comments

  1. I hope a whole lotta parents step up so they can catch these low life teachers who are sending 18yr olds to the polls to punch the blue and in doings so they will be rewarded with extra credit nothing like teaching them how to buy votes early…

  2. We had a fiscally conservative board at MCC no thanks to doomers telling people to not vote or run for office.

    Unfortunately, over the past several years MCC has done a bit of backsliding towards Dems/teachers/left-wing activists on the board.

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