COLUMBUS, Ohio – Only 1 in 16 adults in the Columbus City Schools district voted in the May 2015 primary, according to a new KidsOhio.org report. That means 94 percent of adults did not vote for any of the school board candidates who will appear on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.
Those numbers have important ramifications for schools and the students who attend them, said Mark Real, KidsOhio.org president and CEO.
“The Columbus Board of Education oversees a taxpayer-funded budget of more than $1.4 billion,” Real said. “It sets education goals and policies and approves programming for more than 50,000 children.”
Additionally, the board monitors academic progress and operations among the district’s 110 schools and is responsible for hiring and evaluating the superintendent, internal auditor and treasurer.
“And yet only a tiny fraction of adults are engaged in electing school board members,” Real said.
Within the Columbus City Schools district, 40 percent of adults are not registered to vote and 54 percent are registered but didn’t vote in the May primary.
“In fact, more than a half-million adults didn’t vote in the last primary,” Real said. “I doubt that the vast majority of residents are aware of this. Our hope is that by educating the public about the importance of school board elections and highlighting how few people have been engaged, we can motivate more people to vote on Nov. 3.”
Eight school board candidates will appear on the Nov. 3 general election ballot, and voters will elect four. The KidsOhio.org report lists candidates in alphabetical order and provides links to candidate information. It also provides information about how to register and vote this fall.
KidsOhio.org will make the nonpartisan report available throughout the community and can customize it with the logos of additional organizations that want to distribute it to their constituents.
KidsOhio.org was created in 2002 in response to community, education and business leaders who wanted an effective, data-driven, nonpartisan organization focused on improving public education in Ohio. The organization is funded by the private sector and does not accept any government monies or contracts. KidsOhio.org’s mission is to improve the education of Ohio’s nearly 3 million children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.