Elections & Candidate Recommendations
MNEA members are Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. The issues that unite them are protecting children and improving public education. These are the issues that drive MNEA’s and NEA’s candidate-recommendation process.
How you vote is a personal decision; however, Missouri NEA leaders hope that, as you review the issues and positions of candidates, you will consider the recommendations made by MNEA-PAC.
Local associations recommend candidates for school board election
Missouri School Board Election is Tues., April 5, 2022.
To report candidates recommended by your local association, please send the name of the school district and recommendations to MNEA Political Director Elizabeth Zerr by submitting the Candidate Recommendation Form.
Missouri NEA local associations abide by a recommendation process that evaluates candidates based on their values, not party affiliation. They recommend candidates whose values closely align with MNEA's beliefs and legislative platform, which include protecting the rights of students and education employees; ensuring every student has a qualified, caring teacher; and investing in public education so teachers have the tools they need to help drive student success.
These pro-public education candidates have been interviewed by a committee that lives in your school district and knows the issues that are unique to your community.
Recommendation decisions are made by the MNEA-PAC Executive Council. The executive council comprises three representatives from each of the eleven governance districts: the chairperson (president of MNEA), the vice-chairperson, the treasurer, NEA directors for Missouri, and the MNEA vice president. Representatives from the governance council are elected at the fall representative assembly for staggered terms of three years.
All viable candidates are given the opportunity to respond to a questionnaire and be interviewed by a local committee of MNEA members for possible recommendations to the MNEA membership. There is one exception: incumbents who have maintained an excellent record of support for children and public education issues are given early support.
Candidate questionnaires are designed to measure the candidates' commitment to children and education on the following issues:
- Protecting children's health and safety.
- Preparing students for jobs of the future through professional development, classroom technology, and access to a college education.
- Strengthening public education in America through support for school funding and the U.S. Department of Education, and opposition to vouchers and privatization.
- Respecting the rights of school employees to be partners in school change, to be involved in decisions concerning education quality, and to bargain collectively.
Preparation for Recommendation Process
- Members may sign up to become Education Advocates. MNEA Government Relations staff and UniServ staff will notify and help coordinate Education Advocates living in the same legislative district to schedule screenings and meeting with candidates in the respective legislative district.
- Education Advocates schedule the screenings following the close of candidate filing in March or informal discussions with incumbents recommended for early support or to interview all candidates that have filed in races where early recommendations have not been made.
- Education Advocates complete screening worksheets and return to those MNEA headquarters and contact MNEA Executive PAC Council members assigned to their legislative district to discuss the outcome of the screening meetings and whether or not Council should recommend or not recommend candidates in each race.
An elected officeholder who has a record of support for children and public education is given special consideration. These officeholders have worked with the Association to pass the Association's legislative agenda. Giving them an early recommendation of support sends a message to them, to other legislators, and to MNEA members that they are supporters of children and public education.
- The MNEA-PAC executive council may make early recommendations for incumbents who have a record of support for children and public education.
- Before filing opens in February, the screening committee holds informal discussions on Association legislative issues with the recommended candidate.
- After the informal discussion, the local screening committee decides to concur or not concur with the MNEA-PAC Executive Council recommendation decision.
- An early recommendation made by the MNEA-PAC stands, unless the screening committee refuses to concur and notifies the MNEA political director.
Opponents of the incumbent recommended for early support are not sent a questionnaire or interviewed unless the local screening committee does not concur with the MNEA-PAC recommendation.
A non-incumbent candidate could receive an early recommendation by a 2/3 vote of the MNEA-PAC Executive Council.
Candidate Recommendation Process
Recommendation decisions are based on written questionnaires, candidate interviews, and an assessment of candidates' campaign plans and winnability.
- After filing closes, MNEA government relations sends each candidate a questionnaire. Candidates are instructed to return their questionnaires to MNEA headquarters. When the questionnaires are received, a copy is immediately sent to the screening chair. Originals are kept on file in MNEA headquarters.
- Screening chairpersons are notified when questionnaires are sent. Then they begin the final preparation for the interview with the candidates who return questionnaires.
- After conducting the interviews, the screening chair sends the MNEA political director the recommendation decision. Their options are to recommend a candidate, recommend a candidate for only the primary, or no recommendation.
- Local screening committee recommendations are presented to the MNEA-PAC in early summer for consideration. If a recommendation fails to receive a 2/3 vote of the executive council, there is no recommendation unless the executive council votes to recommend a candidate.
- After the MNEA-PAC meeting, all candidates interviewed receive a letter from the chairperson of the MNEA-PAC. The recommended candidates receive a letter notifying them of the recommendation. Candidates who are not recommended, receive a letter thanking them for taking part in our recommendation process.
The recommendation process requires the commitment of MNEA members to carefully examine the candidates for public office to assess their commitment to children and public education.