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2023 School Board Election Response

Updated: Jul 23, 2023

Graphic showing school board elections turn out a fraction of voters compared to municipal and general elections.
Credit: Mona Chalabi/Carnegie Corporation of New York

Approximately 17% of FHSD voters have spoken. While we increased our voter turnout and narrowed the gap from last year, the majority of voters chose our opponents. It’s tempting to say they did this, that those other people are wrong. But the truth is that we voted with our coworkers and neighbors, family members and friends. When we swear in new school board members this month, they will be board members chosen by our community, our collective. "They" are we. And 83% of us were still silent at the polls.

Of course our team is disappointed and angry. Like you, we’re hurt and weary. But now is the real test. Now is how we truly become the bridge builders and unifiers and courage takers we set out to be. Now is the time to put kids first and find solutions alongside different leaders than we had hoped for. So—rest. Cry. Do all the things.

And then when you’re ready—stand up again. Have those water cooler and driveway conversations about this. Don’t be afraid to share and discuss accurate information with people who know you and to empower others to do the same. Join a refreshed FHForward. Attend board meetings and use your voice to reach out to new board members (respectfully). Keep learning more about the needs of teachers and staff. Seek balanced solutions with those who disagree with you. This is how we build momentum.

Because we didn’t come together just to fade away or to give up. We formed to stand against misinformation, buzzwords and group-think, popular mindsets that hurt our students and drive away our teachers. We formed to say that every parent’s rights should be valued and that our children’s needs deserve our public resources. We formed to have kind, compassionate conversations with those who are on the sidelines and with those who believe differently than we do.

We still believe these things. We will press forward in protecting public education and promoting equity. And we hope you will press forward with us. To be part of this work, please fill out our contact form to volunteer or share your story. You can also subscribe to our site for accurate information about education policy and events in our district or donate to our cause.

With much love and sadness (but hope),

Francis Howell Forward


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