Conservative political action committees are pouring millions into local school board races, The Associated Press reports.
Conservative PACs have taken a higher interest in local school board elections in an attempt to “push back against what they see as a liberal tide in public education classrooms, libraries, sports fields, even building plans,” according to the AP.
One major group, the 1776 Project PAC, which was launched last year in response to the New York Times’ 1619 Project, has already succeeded in elevating conservative majorities in “dozens of school districts.”
Those candidates have gone on to fire superintendents and enact sweeping “bills of rights” for parents of school children, according to the report.
The 1776 Project already spent $2 million between April 2021 and August 2022, according to campaign filings.
The group has already scored major victories in Texas and Pennsylvania and is backing dozens of candidates this fall in Michigan, Maryland and Arkansas.
Some of the candidates have been successful in winning not only deep red areas but also liberal enclaves near Philadelphia and Minneapolis.
“Places we’re not supposed to typically win, we’ve won in,” Ryan Girdusky, the group’s founder, told the AP. “I think we can do it again.”
More PACs wade in:
It’s not just the 1776 Project. The American Principles Project recently spent $25,000 to back four candidates for a school board in Polk County, Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis has also waded into the issue, endorsing a slate of school board candidates himself.
The group’s fundraising has already soared from $50,000 in 2019 to $2 million.
“We lean heavily into retaking federal power,” Terry Schilling, the think tank’s president, told the AP. “But if you don’t also take over the local school boards, you’re not going to have local allies there to actually reverse the policies that these guys have been implementing.”