Press Release: Better Utah responds to Supreme Court decision reinstating partisan school board elections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 11, 2019


Better Utah reminds lawmakers that even if law is constitutional, partisan school board elections are not good public policy and are not supported by Utahns

Salt Lake City, UT – After a long wait, the Utah Supreme Court issued a decision this afternoon in the case of Richards v. Cox, the lawsuit challenging the 2016 law that established partisan school board elections. The Better Utah Institute, at the time named the ABU Education Fund, was one of the original plaintiffs in the suit against the state. 

Josh Kanter, Better Utah Institute’s board chair, issued the following statement:

“We continue to firmly believe that partisan politics has no place in our schools. We have always believed that our children’s education should be insulated from the extreme partisanship that grips our nation and is making inroads into our state.  

“Are we disappointed? Of course. But we respect the decision made by the distinguished justices who sit on the Utah Supreme Court. While the Court disagreed with our arguments on constitutional interpretation, the justices made clear they were not making a judgment on whether or not the law is good public policy. A majority of Utahns believe that school board elections should not be partisan. Moving forward from this decision, we ask lawmakers to listen to their constituents and restore nonpartisan school board elections before the 2020 elections.”

A poll commissioned by in 2015 showed that 56% of Utahns favor nonpartisan school board elections, while only 27% believed that such elections should be partisan.

The decision by the Utah Supreme Court can be found here.

Better Utah Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing a strong, educational voice by creating resources that advance civic engagement and good governance. For more information, visit their website here.

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