Testimony needed ASAP for Senate Bill 171, which would move school board elections to November and make them partisan

School officials who don’t believe school board elections should be partisan and held in November of even-numbered years must hurry to make their feelings known.

Monday afternoon, Sen. Mitch Holmes, R-St. John, and chairman of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, introduced into the Senate a sweeping bill that moves the elections and overhauls much of state election law.

Holmes’ office wants any prepared testimony or notice of intent to testify on the bill by 4 p.m. Tuesday - a little more than 24 hours after the 54-page bill was available online Monday afternoon. A hearing on the measure will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in room 142-South in the Capitol.

To submit testimony or to notify the committee of your desire to testify, please contact Darla Conner, who is the committee assistant. Her email address is darla.conner@senate.ks.gov and her telephone number is 785-296-7667. If you want to submit comments or provide them orally, you must provide 30 copies of your testimony.

Again, the deadline to get testimony in is 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Currently, city and school board elections are non-partisan and held in the spring.

Under SB 171, city and school board candidates would run on a partisan basis in political party primaries in August and then general elections in November.

The bill also requires school districts to:

  • Provide buildings for polling places at the request of a county election officer;
  • Schedule an in-service training day for teachers when school is in session on the date of a primary or general election.

A KASB analysis of the measure is here.