In November, political pundits bemoaned the lack of a “red wave” in school board elections nationwide, but Republicans performed better in Pennsylvania than initially reported.
But a recent report from Ballotpedia reveals otherwise: Republicans actually won nearly 60% of school board seats around the state.
Pennsylvania is one of the few states that require partisan school board elections.
A few others, such as Georgia and South Carolina, allow local governments to decide how to run school board races. But most other elections are non-partisan.
According to Ballotpedia, Republicans won 59% of Pennsylvania’s school board seats and Democrats just 39%.
Democrats did manage to flip nine traditionally Republican districts, while the GOP only won one.
However, when it came down to individual seats, GOP candidates were still highly successful.
These figures were relatively similar to the elections held in other states that are nominally non-partisan.
Pennsylvania Republicans won a similar number of seats in GOP districts to their counterparts in Oklahoma and South Dakota. However, results in Democratic districts varied more widely across the states.
In all states, Republicans won nearly three-quarters of red districts – with Pennsylvania leading the way at 76%.
Oklahoma was the most successful at flipping blue seats (45%) while Pennsylvania flipped 19%. South Dakota flipped just 6%.
School boards have become centers of contention ever since the pandemic gave parents a close look into public schools.
Local and state boards throughout the nation have dealt with sexually explicit books in school libraries, whether to allow gender dysphoric students to use the opposite sex’s bathroom, and attempts to insert the principles of Critical Race Theory into school curricula.