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Running For School Board Election

Who is eligible to run for election?

Any registered voter in the State of Arizona who also is a resident of the School District in which he or she resides for at least one year immediately preceding the day of election is eligible to run for a position on the local School Board. 

A person who is employed, or whose spouse is employed, by a District can stand for election as a Governing Board member. However, if elected, the successful candidate and/or spouse must terminate employment with the District before taking office. 

Board members cannot serve simultaneously on more than one School District Governing Board.

Finally, a person who has an immediate family member sitting on a  School District Governing Board and who has shared the same household of residence with that family member within four years prior to the election is ineligible to be a candidate for nomination or election to that Governing Board if the Governing Board is composed of five members, unless the immediate family member is serving in the last year of a term of office; persons related as immediate family who have the same household of residence within four years prior are also ineligible to be simultaneous candidates for nomination or election to the Governing Board of the same School District if the Governing Board is composed of five members.

What is the term of office?

Election is for a four-year term, except for those positions filling a vacancy in office.

When are elections for School Board members held?

School Board elections are part of the general election in even-numbered years. Special elections to fill unanticipated vacancies occurring between regular elections may be called by the County Superintendent of Schools. (County School Superintendents may also choose to appoint an individual to fill such a vacancy.)

How about the primary election?

Primary elections do not pertain to the election of School Board members.

Are nominating petitions necessary?

Yes. Eligible persons desiring to run for the School Board should

  1. Obtain nominating petition forms from the County Superintendent of Schools;
  2. Ask the County Superintendent how many signatures of qualified electors residing in the School District are required;
  3. Obtain necessary signatures, being very careful to follow the legal requirements for valid signatures; and 
  4. File the nominating petitions with the County Superintendent of Schools not later than 90 days prior to the election.
Where will my name appear on the ballot?

The names of School Board candidates are printed in the non-partisan section of the ballot.

If elected, when will I take office?

You will take office at the first organizational meeting of the  School Board, which must be held between the first and 15th day of January following the general election. The oath of office is administered at any time after receiving your certificate of election, and at least one day before commencement of the term of office.

Am I required to file a campaign finance report?

School Board candidates who intend to receive or spend $500.00 or less in one election campaign are exempt from filing campaign finance reports if they file an exemption statement with the county elections office. Candidates who exceed the $500.00 threshold must register a political committee to serve as a campaign committee and file campaign finance reports that itemize receipts and expenditures, and identify persons who contribute $25.00 or more. Limitations exist on the amount that can be accepted from one individual contributor. Consult your county elections office for donation guidelines. Forms may be obtained from your county elections office or county school superintendent.

Must I file a financial disclosure statement?

No. The detailed personal financial disclosure statement required by A.R.S. §38-542 is not required of Governing Board members.

The Basics of Running for Election
  • Pick up an information packet from the County Superintendent of Schools. 
  • File the $500.00 exemption or campaign committee organization statement with the county elections office before collecting signatures.
  • Collect signatures.
  • File signatures pages and forms with the County Superintendent of Schools.
  • Run your campaign.
  • Decision is made by the voters in your District.

Contact Your County Superintendent of Schools to begin the process of running for election as a School Board member. Mr. Steve Watson, Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools:

4041 N. Central Ave., #1100
Phoenix, AZ 85012
(602) 506-3866