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School Board Squabbles Attract Dark Money To Elections

school-board-elections-ohio-nikki-hudson-worthington-100721-ap-jay-laprete.jpg
Jay Laprete
/
AP
Campaign yard signs line a yard Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Worthington, Ohio.

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss why local school board races are getting a lot of attention and attracting a lot of new candidates. Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau reporter Jo Ingles joins the show.

School Culture Wars

Local school boards are often a battlefield for fights over school taxes, class sizes, and the quality of school lunch pizza, but COVID-19 and broader cultural issues have put a more intense focus on board elections.

Many of the first-time candidates are upset over mask and vaccine mandates, and the possibility that teachers will more closely examine the impact of racism on our history. And they are attracting large campaign donations with little transparency.

Snollygoster Of The Week

Last week, the state admitted it goofed when it put the Wright Brothers plane backward on the new license plate design. The North Carolina Department of Transportation –which claims on its license plate to be "First In Flight" – noticed the error as well. They tweeted, "Y'all leave Ohio alone. They wouldn't know. They weren't there. #FirstInFlight"

Send questions and comments to snollygoster@wosu.org.