New Research from Ballotpedia Offers Never-Before Available Information on U.S. School Boards
Filling a long-standing knowledge gap with objective, comprehensive data to make it easier for all Americans to engage with their local school board
MIDDLETON, Wis., Aug. 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Ongoing debates over what should be taught in public schools and the role of school boards has generated lots of headlines. But essential context on how many school boards there are, and who serves on them has been missing. Until now.
Ballotpedia today announced the release of its comprehensive new research report on U.S. school boards, “Analysis of School District and Board Member Characteristics, 2022.”
“School board members comprise about 15% of all elected officials in the United States,” said Ballotpedia Editor-in-Chief Geoff Pallay. “As we head into the 2022-2023 school year, we’re providing our readers the ability to understand who represents them in these critical offices.”
Exclusive research from Ballotpedia on the nation’s public school boards has found:
- There are 13,194 school districts nationwide with 82,423 school board members.
- Hawaii and Washington, D.C. have the fewest school board members – nine total each – while Texas has the most with 6,994.
- The average school board has 6.25 members. West Virginia has the lowest average membership – 3.45. Connecticut has the highest average membership – 9.97.
- 71% of school board members are elected to at-large seats. The rest represent individual districts.
- Nationwide, 52.15% of school board members are male, while 43.29% are female. Our researchers were unable to find gender information on about 4.57% of school board members (but we’re still digging).
- Arkansas has the highest percentage of male school board members—63.90%
- Florida has the highest percentage of female school board members—59.02%
“The new study fills a long-standing knowledge gap with objective, comprehensive data that will make it easier for all Americans to engage with their local school board officials,” said Pallay. “Up until now, data on school boards has been hard to find and based on random studies and samples.”
- Hall Pass, Ballotpedia’s weekly school board focused newsletter covering the conversations driving school board politics and education policy.
- Tracking conflicts in school board elections, Ballotpedia’s report around the topics of race in education/critical race theory, responses to the coronavirus pandemic, and sex and gender in schools.
- School board elections, 2022 contains links to school board elections covered by Ballotpedia in 2022 by state. Ballotpedia covers school board elections in 470 school districts. This includes all school districts in the 100 largest cities by population and the 200 largest school districts by student enrollment.
- Ballotpedia also covers all school board recalls in the United States.
- Our coverage scope for local elections continues to grow, and you can use Ballotpedia’s sample ballot tool to see what school board elections we are covering in your area.
Ballotpedia is America’s most trusted source of unbiased information on politics, elections and policy. Founded in 2007, Ballotpedia has grown from a collection of dedicated volunteers working on a handful of ballot measures to an essential resource for voters, media and researchers. Ballotpedia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the public interest in creating an educated, engaged electorate, and building a strong, healthy democracy. For free access to more than 360,000 professionally authored articles, visit Ballotpedia.org.
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