We can exercise our vote to ensure a better world for one another and for our children. This voter guide is for those who want to use the power of their vote to support candidates whose policies and practices will create the kind of public education where children will not only survive, but thrive.
We can provide free, equitable, creative, robust education environments for every child by voting for -- and holding accountable -- elected officials committed to the well-being of all God’s children.
What elected positions impact schools?
State LegislaturesState legislatures have taken a more direct role in setting standards, requiring assessments, and evaluating teachers and administrators.
School BoardsSchool boards act as the governance team for a school district. They set the district’s vision, adopt policy, structure the district’s budget, and act as a liaison between the district and the community.
GovernorsGovernors are often the driving force behind policy creation and change. They have state-level executive authority, and the power to implement task forces, directives, and legislation relating to education policy.
MayorsA mayor’s influence in the community can help reshape the way all of us approach education policy and initiate change that leads to improved education outcomes. Mayors can facilitate community-wide conversations about education challenges and solutions that empower their districts to pursue effective strategies for reform.
OtherThere are a number of additional elected positions that profoundly impact children, if not schools directly. For example, juvenile court judges are elected positions in Ohio. How these judges see and value children directly impacts their court rulings.
Before you vote.A few questions to ask yourself before heading to the ballot box!
What do the children I love need to thrive? Will this candidate be a help or hindrance to securing those needs?
Does this candidate understand my community and care about its needs? How have they shown this?
Has this candidate named race and racism?
How has this candidate prioritized the needs of children?
How to Spot a Real One
What qualities make a good candidate?
- Knows and spends time with the community they’d represent (for example - principal, coaches, etc.)
- Knowledgeable and comfortable speaking about race
-Invested in practical and impactful outcomes for children
- Obvious care and love for children and families
- Good at - gathering folks, helping people make decisions, strategizing about how to get what you want together, seeing what’s coming, and helping make a shift.
What platforms help children thrive?
- Trauma informed schools
- Universal Pre-K
- Culturally responsive and sustaining education
- Non-punitive discipline practices
- Economic mobility - policies that help families feel stable and secure in neighborhoods.
- Teacher support - policies that ensure teachers are cared for and have the space to meet student needs.
Don’t forget - the most charming candidate isn’t always the best candidate. Over-reliance on charm, encouragement, and good public speaking can sometimes mask weak platforms.
Beyond the vote.A few ways to support the work of your elected officials once election season is over!
READ UP - Stay informed on what’s going on in your local community, especially in schools. What are the emerging needs of children in your community? How are your elected officials addressing these issues?
BACK UP - There are lots of ways to support your local community and schools. Find out from the educators, students, and parents in your life practical ways you can back them up as they do their work in the world.
SHOW UP - After showing up on election day, keep showing up at community gatherings - like school board meetings - where important decisions that impact children and your community are made. Make your presence known and your voice heard!
STEP UP - Run for office! There are resources available for non-career politicians to launch a successful campaign. Support the campaign of “a real one” next election season by volunteering in various capacities.
A major threat to children thrivingHarmful legislation is showing up in classrooms across the country, restricting teachers and depriving students. This is one of the many reasons why our vote matters so much! Stay up-to-date on what elected officials and policymakers are doing in each state regarding the anti-truth movement.
Anti-truth Legislation by StateWe've pulled together a state-by-state sheet so you can stay up-to-date on what elected officials and policymakers are doing in each state regarding the anti-truth movement.
Find out exactly what's happening in your state OR keep tabs on state governments in your region and across the country.
Below, check out what's happening in three states where students are most at risk from anti-truth legislation.
Sites and tools to help you educate and activate
Truth Matters for Students
Find out more about the anti-truth movement and how we can fight back on our Truth Matters for Students site.
The Expectations Project
Mobilizes people of faith to demand excellent public schools for Black, Brown and other marginalized children