Who funds local school board elections? Local residents or major donors living elsewhere? Jeffrey R. Henig
, Rebecca Jacobsen
, and Sarah Reckhow
seek to answer this question in Outside Money in School Board Elections: The Nationalization of Education Politics
(Harvard Education Press, 2019). Henig is a professor of political science and education at Teachers College and professor of political science at Columbia University. Jacobsen is an associate professor of education politics and policy in the College of Education at Michigan State University. Reckhow is an associate professor of political science at Michigan State University.
Sarah Reckhow joined the podcast to talk about the book. Drawing on a detailed study of elections in five districts (Bridgeport, Connecticut, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and New Orleans), Outside Money
explores what happens when national issues shape local politics. The authors suggest that the involvement of wealthy individuals and national organizations in school board elections shows the nationalization of local education politics. This nationalization has potentially significant implications for social justice and democracy.