Campaign encourages candidates to run for school board seats

COLUMBUS — The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) recently launched its Get on Board campaign, designed to encourage Ohioans from all walks of life to consider serving on their local boards of education. If Ohio is to provide a high-quality education to all of its students, it needs representative school boards that can meet the challenges of the diverse districts they represent.

“We all need to work together to support our public schools, which means we need strong leadership on our school boards,” said OSBA Chief Executive Officer Rick Lewis. “Further, diversity of leadership will demonstrate a commitment to students that everyone can achieve and help themselves and their communities succeed. Students can benefit by seeing leaders, administrators and teachers who are representative of the places they live and go to school.”

The Get on Board campaign, which began in 2019, asks current school board members to offer their expertise for an additional term and tries to motivate new community members to take up the challenge of board work for school districts and educational service centers where vacant seats exist.

OSBA has created a website — — to answer any questions a citizen might have about qualifications; running a campaign; time commitments; and the roles and responsibilities of school board members. The site also offers a section where individuals can recommend potential candidates, which will enable OSBA to reach out to them with resources and information.

In addition, the website hosts webinars covering such topics as how to become a school board candidate; campaign first steps; and how to deal with campaign contributions, expenditures and reporting requirements. Throughout the campaign season, OSBA will continue to offer training and other resources geared toward potential candidates and those who have decided to run.

This year’s general election is Nov. 2. Ohioans wishing to run for a board of education seat must file a nominating petition with their county board of elections by 4 p.m. on Aug. 4. Anyone running for a school board seat must be a U.S. citizen; at least 18 years old; a resident of the school district for at least 30 days preceding the election; and registered to vote in the school district for at least 30 days preceding the election.

Founded in 1955, OSBA leads the way to educational excellence by serving Ohio’s public school board members and the diverse districts they represent through superior service, unwavering advocacy and creative solutions.