One must-read delivered daily to your inbox

Your Local School Board Freak Show Follies

 Member Newsletter
January 4, 2024 1:19 p.m.

I’ve been making my way through your emails about school board activism in your various necks of the woods. And I have to say, keep them coming, if for no other reason than the immense entertainment value. But seriously, for many other reasons too. I’m digging into them and trying to figure out which ones to report out first. But there are a few points that stand out in advance of that.

One of those points is something I’m half being reminded of, half learning, which is that there was a pretty big backlash against “anti-woke” school boards in 2023. It’s not universal, certainly. But it’s not just the story out of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, I’ve been telling you about for the last few days. There are examples all over the country. (I’ll be coming back to Bucks. Holy Crap, there’s a lot.) This morning I’ve just been reading up on one in a very backwoods part of Idaho, the West Bonner County School District. A lot of the same stuff: a bunch of freaks get washed in in 2021. They do all the anti-woke stuff and other stuff that’s more about just being against public education generally. There’s a successful recall, but not before the board brings in a new superintendent who is a former state legislator whose career went south when it turned out he might not actually live in the state. (Really.) The bigger problem is that Branden Durst had no background in education and didn’t even have the minimal accreditation the state requires for superintendents. He hung on for like three months before he had to resign. That was back in September.

Want to keep reading?

Join TPM and get The Backchannel member newsletter along with unlimited access to all TPM articles and member features.

I'm already subscribed

Not yet a TPM Member?

I'm already subscribed

One must-read from Josh Marshall delivered weekly to your inbox

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

One must-read from Josh Marshall delivered weekly to your inbox

Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: