Iowa School Board Candidates Raising Lots Of Campaign Cash

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Running for a school board seat is getting expensive in Iowa given the current intense interest in how schools are responding to the coronavirus pandemic and teaching history.

The Des Moines Register reports that the 58 candidates running for school board seats in the Des Moines area's seven largest school districts have collectively raised more than $180,000 for the Nov. 2 elections. In the last two elections, all the candidates in those same districts raised less than $35,000.

Several candidates raised over $10,000 apiece for their races, which is something no candidate did in the 2017 and 2019 elections.

Analysts for national public policy groups say interest in school boards has soared this year as officials debated topics like whether to require masks in schools or the best approach to teaching U.S. history and race.

“I don't think this is a blip,” said Van Schoales, who is a senior policy director at the Keystone Policy Center. “I think this is going to continue to happen.”