ND Watchdog: Rash of School Board Recalls "Wasteful"
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
FARGO, N.D. -- The people behind efforts to recall four Fargo School Board members have until August 25th to collect signatures.
Ahead of that deadline, a statewide watchdog group sees the national movement to shake up local school boards as abusing the process.
Mask mandates and communication issues were among the concerns cited by recall supporters in Fargo when their petitions launched this year.
Amy Jacobson, executive director of Prairie Action ND, said from her group's viewpoint, nothing that has been mentioned warrants a special vote to remove a sitting board member.
"The recall process is meant to remove an elected official who has done something particularly egregious and should no longer be serving," Jacobson contended.
Jacobson urged those upset with board members to focus on the next election, which is next spring. She pointed out special votes also are a drain on resources.
But the parents involved say members they are targeting have terms that expire in 2024. Ballotpedia noted more than 150 recalls were launched nationwide in the first half of this year, with nearly 50% involving school boards.
A number of attempts to oust board members have been linked to rhetoric over a concept known as Critical Race Theory, with some of those talking pointed surfacing in Fargo.
But Jacobson argued it isn't even being taught in the local schools.
"There's definitely misinformation that's being spread from national, to states, to local that is causing folks to get in an uproar about things that are not actually happening in their schools," Jacobson asserted.
Jacobson added the turmoil hurts teachers and staff, who get caught in the middle of the backlash. Since special elections have lower turnout, candidates with extreme views could find an easier path to victory for a seat that's traditionally nonpartisan.
Outside the Fargo recall efforts, Prairie Action ND said there have been discussions in other North Dakota communities, such as Williston, but no other petitions have been filed with the state.
Disclosure: Prairie Action ND contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Human Rights/Racial Justice, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
get more stories like this via email
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hispanic Heritage Month began this week, and will be celebrated through Oct. 15. Oregon has a rapidly growing Hispanic population…
SILVER SPRING, Md. -- As the Biden administration challenges a Texas law restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood for …
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Social Security, the program credited with lifting 15 million older residents in Wyoming and across the U.S. out of poverty…
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas has made some changes to its state rent relief program to make it easier to distribute assistance to residents…
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The historic clean-energy bill signed into Illinois law yesterday includes measures from closing coal and natural gas plants by 2…
INDIANAPOLIS -- A new coalition is forming to push back against predatory lending and urge state lawmakers to take action to protect consumers…
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than 200 high earners have written a letter urging Congress to raise taxes to help support social safety-net programs that …
Health and Wellness
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Limiting women's access to abortion and other reproductive health care can have a devastating impact on state economies. According …