Education and the Midterms: What Voters Decided in Subsequent School Board Races Across the Country – Fox News | Team Cansler

Education was a key issue for many voters last week as parental rights and COVID policy issues provoked anger from families who have witnessed children’s learning losses and argued their right to know what their children are learning had been gutted.

At the local level, school board races in districts that have been in the spotlight in recent months have had an impact on parental rights policies and opposition to the status quo.

In Virginia, parental rights attorney Tiffany Polifko, R., has clinched a win in the Broad Run District of the Loudoun County School Board race after nearly a week of ballot counting, while Democrat Erika Ogedegbe is the prospective winner of the Leesburg seat.

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Early voting booths are set up at the Black Hawk County Courthouse in Waterloo, Iowa on September 27, 2012.
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Polifko, whose vision for the school board challenges the status quo, will shake up the district.

She had previously opposed “sexualized politics” and critical race theory, the Washington Post reported, adding her claim that a seventh-grade assignment from one of her son’s English classes related to his “privilege” and role focused as an “oppressor”, forcing them to look for the place.

“I believe our children deserve to learn in an environment free from identity politics,” Polifko said in a campaign ad.

According to the Post, she cemented her role as a GOP favorite by becoming a “mainstay” on a podcast hosted by former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and Leading Parents Against Critical Race Theory (PACT).

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Opponents of critical race theory protest outside the Loudoun County School Board headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia on June 22, 2021.

Opponents of critical race theory protest outside the Loudoun County School Board headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia on June 22, 2021.
(REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

Fight for Schools founder Ian Prior called Polifko’s victory a “huge victory” for the parental rights movement.

“If a majority of voters in a very blue borough in Loudoun County don’t buy what far-left activists are doing to our schools, it gives hope to parents across the country,” he told Fox News Digital.

“It also shows that parents like Tiffany Polifko who are not aspiring politicians are motivated to run for the right reasons and can win through hard work, dedication and commitment to parenting rights,” he added.

The hard-fought election for two board seats was the first since Loudoun County drew national attention after a controversial policy drew over 200 parents to a school board meeting that eventually closed.

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Ogedegbe, a Democrat claiming the district’s second seat, told Washington, D.C.-based ABC 7 News in an October interview that she thought the district was “better” than the “fear and division” that the district is facing believed to have been maintained.

She also stressed the need to protect transgender students and said she was “concerned” about revisions to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s model transgender policy, R.

A school board meeting in Dearborn, Michigan ended after the firefighter said the Monday, Oct. 10, 2022 meeting violated fire codes.

A school board meeting in Dearborn, Michigan ended after the firefighter said the Monday, Oct. 10, 2022 meeting violated fire codes.
(Dearborn Public Schools)

The Loudoun County race was far from the only one to garner statewide attention, but parental rights candidates lagged behind at other major races, including Dearborn, Michigan, where advocates called for changes after allegedly sexually explicit content made its way into their children’s curriculum .

Incumbent board members Hussien Berry and Patrick D’Ambrosio won last Tuesday, a blow to supporters’ calls for change.

Florida’s Escambia County School District, which faced similar hurdles after more than 100 library books were appealed for containing sexually explicit content and “graphic language,” according to The National Desk, also saw no change.

Incumbent Paul Fesko – whose district was the only one on the ballot – will remain on the board after defeating challenger Ray Guillory, according to CITC News in Washington.

Fesko questioned the district’s proposed book ban when the issue gained media attention, and addressed parental complaints about a “rights and responsibilities quiz” given to the district’s students, according to the outlet.

Some parents criticized the quiz for allegedly containing “soft porn” scenarios.

The Gorham County School District in Maine, which sparked controversy over a “Gender 101” poster that contained references to “gender” and “non-gender” identities and was still allowed to be posted in sixth-grade classrooms, was also looking to the past Little change in Tuesday’s midterm elections with the re-election of incumbent Stewart McCallister and former member Jennifer Whitehead.

Some changes came to Baltimore City’s public schools as the district added its first-ever elected board members in last Tuesday’s race, electing Ashley E. Esposito and Kwame Kenyatta-Bey.

The district, which has been criticized for allegedly falling short of educational standards, had previously approached the mayor to select all board members, but others saw the change as an opportunity to hear the voices of the community.

Baltimore Teachers’ Union-backed Eposito, an IT pro, ran in Baltimore as a “concerned mom,” according to FOX 45, and said she wants to bring that perspective to the board.

“I’m the only parent community member in the running,” she said, according to the outlet. “That’s the perspective I want to bring. You know I’m not a teacher. I come in as a mom just worried.”

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According to The Balitmore Banner, Esposito vowed to be an advocate for parents by prioritizing the closure of school buildings. She also came down to hiring more tutors to “close the knowledge gap” between students, FOX 45 reported.

Kenyatta-Bey also attempted to improve the curriculum by focusing on teaching to prepare students for more modern positions.

“We are in a changing society right now. And if we don’t change with it, if we don’t change our education with it, we’re going to lose it,” he said, according to the outlet.

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