(LifeSiteNews) – Conservatives have made gains on school boards across the U.S. this year, including in solidly Democratic counties, amid a growing parent revolt against Critical Race Theory and public health restrictions.
In Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Republicans flipped two school boards this month, gained seats on three others, and won several other local races, National Review reported. Montgomery County, a Democratic bastion near Philadelphia, voted for Joe Biden by more than 26 points in Pennsylvania’s notably error-plagued 2020 election.
The Republican victories came despite now-characteristic mail-in ballot issues, including printing errors that impacted around 25,000 ballots. Julia Vahey, the executive director of the Republican Committee of Montgomery County, said that she was not told about 9,000 “defective” ballots until the day after the election.
GOP candidates – most of them local parents – took over Montgomery County’s Perkiomen Valley and Boyertown School Boards often running against Critical Race Theory (CRT) and leftist ideology in classrooms. Many counted on backing from grassroots pro-freedom groups, like Back to School PA, actively working to rescind mask mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions.
Republicans similarly gained in Philadelphia-area Bucks County, a swing county that Biden won by 4 points last year, sweeping the Pennridge School Board and picking up three seats on the board of Central Bucks, the third largest school district in Pennsylvania.
A slate of conservatives dominated the Pennridge elections with a “Parents over Politicians” theme, pushing back on a new “diversity” initiative and mask rules, according to local news. Republicans also won the Bucks County district attorney and sheriffs’ races and ousted Democratic incumbents in other county elections.
Just two years ago, The New York Times heralded the Democrats’ resurgence in Bucks County as evidence of a left-wing “political realignment of the suburbs” during the Trump presidency. The GOP has already begun reversing those trends in the Biden era, however, as seen in crushing election losses for Democrats in Virginia earlier this month.
This year’s “red wave” extended to typically uneventful school board elections that drew an unusual amount of attention amid increased parental outrage directed at public schools.
Progressives lost control of one of Colorado’s largest school districts two weeks ago with the election of four parents’ rights advocates, the Washington Examiner reported. The winners, backed the conservative 1776 Project PAC, vowed to end a mask mandate enacted by the Denver-area Douglas County School Board in defiance of a county order and resist CRT. The board previously had a 7-0 liberal majority.
1776 Project PAC, an education advocacy group dedicated to fighting Critical Race Theory and promoting “patriotic education,” has boasted victories in dozens of school board races in seven states this cycle, with a 75 percent success rate.
“Critical Race Theory is a radical belief that pushes the idea that America is an inherently racist country and white Americans are stained with the original sin of racism for which they can never be cleansed,” the PAC’s website states. “The 1776 Project PAC is pushing back against this growing crisis in our public education system by campaigning on behalf of school board candidates that vow to overturn any teaching of the 1619 Project or critical race theory in their school districts.”
Candidates endorsed by the 1776 Project PAC won 13 races in Pennsylvania alone, according to Axios, picking up seats in Pittsburgh’s North Hills School District and sweeping a board of directors of a Centre County school district. Back to School PA has said that 113 of the 182 Pennsylvania candidates backed by the group likewise won their elections.
Pro-parent challengers also dominated school board races in the Democrat-leaning suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa, where the 1776 Project’s candidates took control of multiple school districts and ousted a school board president and vice president in Johnston.
The successful slate in Johnston again targeted strict masking requirements and “radical, anti-American indoctrination in our schools.”
“I’ve gotten so many messages over the night from teachers and parents that are just telling me that they were crying because of the results,” said Derek Tidball, an incoming board member, “and they know that it was just because I said I would at least listen to them and try to try to figure out what they need and try to help them out.”
Congrats to these 3 1776 Action endorsed candidates who just flipped the Johnston, Iowa School Board. Proud to support them. pic.twitter.com/V4fkhnvfi3
— 1776ActionOrg 🇺🇸 (@1776ActionOrg) November 3, 2021
In the suburbs of Dallas, a father who promised to block “cultural sensitivity” training for students and teachers won in landslide this month, shifting control of the Southlake District School Board to CRT opponents.