Coalition launches campaign to educate voters on school board
February 26, 2019
Concerned only one-in-five registered voters casts a ballot for school board in off-year primary election, a coalition of Pittsburgh-based organizations are bringing back the Vote School Board First! campaign.
Aimed at encouraging a more informed group of voters to cast ballots for the Pittsburgh school board, A+ Schools and 16 partner organizations will work collaboratively to spotlight the candidates and encourage participation in this spring's election. The Vote School Board First! coalition will hold a televised School Board Candidate Forum on April 24, where voters will hear directly from school board candidates and have the opportunity to ask questions.
School board races in Pittsburgh Public Districts 2, 4, 6, and 8 will be held on May 21.
Vote School Board First! coalition members include A+ Schools, All for All, APOST, ARYSE, BPEP, Circles of Greater Pittsburgh, Latino Community Center, Lawrenceville United/PEP Rally, League of Women Voters, Pittsburgh Project, Pittsburgh Promise, PUMP, Repair the World, Trying Together, The University of Pittsburgh's Office of Child Development and The P.R.I.D.E. Program, Urban League, and Youth Places.
"School board members play such a critical role in the creation of a more fair and equitable Pittsburgh," said James Fogarty, executive director of A+ Schools. "We need voters to engage with this election because so much is at stake. The School Board is responsible for the oversight of a general fund budget that is over $70 million larger than the City of Pittsburgh's. They enact policies that determine everything from the times children start school, to what curricula and books are used. And it is ultimately the school board that must lead to address historical inequities in education that lock too many of our children out of the opportunities our region has to offer."
With more than 27,000 students in Pittsburgh's district and charter schools, over 3,000 staff members, a general operating budget of more than $646 million this year – and persistent gaps in opportunity and achievement – the Pittsburgh school board election is one of the most important on the ballot this May.
To learn more about the 2019 Vote School Board First! campaign, including how to sign up to be a volunteer, visit http://www.voteschoolboardfirst.org.