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GOP Lawmaker Seeking to Make School Board Races Partisan

Rep. Spencer Roach said he wants to help keep voters informed and increase transparency.

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA — A Republican legislator is looking to make school board races partisan again. Rep. Spencer Roach filed a proposed constitutional amendment on Tuesday that would restore partisanship to the elections beginning in 2026, according to the News Service of Florida.

For nearly a quarter-century, school board candidates have not been required to disclose his/her party affiliation on the ballot.

Although party registration is public record, Roach told Florida Politics that fewer than .001 percent of voters would know how to look up that information. Regardless of whether or not that is accurate, party disclosure would certainly save voters the time and effort required to research their respective candidates.

“There are people who are going to accuse me of trying to advance the interest of one political party over another, right versus left, Republican versus Democrat. But to me, my motivation for this bill is voter transparency,” Roach said. “I simply believe that in every election, we should do everything we can to make sure the voters have as much information as possible about a candidate before they vote on them.”

Roach’s move comes on the heels of an election cycle that saw a number of highly politicized school board races. Governor Ron DeSantis endorsed 30 school board candidates in an effort to reform public education across the state. Twenty-four of those candidates won and shifted the power dynamics in a number of large districts.