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Simply put, the outcome of the midterm elections was not what we expected. The “Red Tide” never materialized. While it’s easy to focus on the negative and dwell on what went wrong, there have been many victories at the local level that have been overlooked by the mainstream media – we do we really think it wasn’t intentional?
School board elections across the country have shown that the American people support anti-revivalist, pro-parental rights candidates who seek to eliminate left-wing curricula from schools. Many of these candidates received the resources and support they needed to move left through groups like Building Education Together for Students (BEST).
Led by parents themselves, BEST conducted trainings within the Freedom of Education initiative. Participating candidates have had great success, with over 86 BEST-trained candidates winning seats this election cycle. Compared to previous years, this past period was indeed an important one for parental rights in education.
These are impressive results and should be a bright spot for all of us this cycle in a tough national election. While these victories will have a positive impact on the next generation, these efforts did not happen overnight. These school board victories were the culmination of a grassroots effort that continued over time. From the hard work of BEST’s early days in late 2020 to the victories on Election Night 2022, significant change takes time, and key parent activists have made key investments with the long-term, big picture in mind.
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It is the key to successful core business. A candidate must communicate with their constituencies before they begin to educate, empower, or mobilize them. Apart from a viral moment, grassroots activists cannot be mobilized in an instant.
BEST aims to work with parents of school students, school board candidates and school board members. This three-pronged approach will help activists replace school board seats and elect like-minded candidates who support parental choice in education and curriculum transparency.
We saw this earlier this year with Arizona’s transformative statewide legislation, AZ HB 2853, which ensured that taxpayer dollars followed individual students, not systems. Several key aspects of HB 2853 include eligibility for the Enhanced Opportunity Scholarship Account (ESA) program for every Arizona family receiving more than $6,500 a year, private school, home schooling, “study guides” , tutoring, or any other type of educational services best suited to the needs of their students, and any child who wishes to opt out of (or already has) a local public school is allowed to join the ESA program under the bill. It really was a victory for students and parents over left-wing teachers and teacher unions.
Since its founding in 2020, BEST has trained over 10,000 activists in key states: AZ, CO, WI, OH, PA, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL and TX. In 2023, BEST plans to intensify its efforts and train 10,000 more activists.
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In 2023, BEST will train more parent activists on parent involvement and school board activism, engage more men in the school choice movement, and educate more school board members about their rights, continues to lead the educational freedom movement by teaching about its responsibilities and roles. In 2023, we will continue to lay the groundwork necessary for major legislative victories to come. However, in order to reap what we have sown, the work must begin now.
Next year, dozens of WELL-trained school board candidates across the country will begin the process of righting the many wrongs in our nation’s education system. Dramatic change will not happen overnight, but we have a solid foundation to lay in the years to come that will enhance the educational well-being of the next generation. We are taking back our schools and BEST will continue to protect the rights of parents with their children’s education and put the basic educational needs of our children first and remove the woke garbage that harms our children.