From the Office of State Senator John Carona

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 1998
CONTACT: John Krueger, 512/463-0116

SENATOR JOHN CARONA PRE-FILES MAJORITY VOTE LEGISLATION FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT ELECTIONS

(AUSTIN)--State Senator JOHN CARONA (R-Dallas) today pre-filed legislation, S.B. 111, to allow local school districts the option of electing board trustees by majority vote. Current law allows school trustees to be elected through a simple plurality vote, but some school districts would like the opportunity to require a majority vote, Senator Carona stated.

Prior to 1995, school districts electing board members by position or place had the local option of holding run-off elections to ensure elections by majority vote rather than a simple plurality. The passage of SB 1, the rewrite of the Education Code, by the 74th Legislature in 1995 inadvertently eliminated this authorization for local districts. My bill simply restores the ability of local school boards to require a majority, Senator Carona explained.

In a plurality voting system, the candidate with the most votes, regardless of the votes received, wins the election. In an election with several candidates, the trustee could potentially be elected with few votes and very little community support. Local school boards are in the best position to determine which election best suits their school district, Senator Carona concluded, I trust them to make the right decision.

The Texas Association of School Boards strongly supports Senator Caronas effort to return the majority vote option to school districts. School board members appreciate his recognition of the importance of local control in this issue and will work to get support for this legislation, said David Dunn, TASBs associate executive director of governmental relations.

The Associations 1998-2000 Legislative Program includes a position supporting the restoration of the majority vote option for school board elections.

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