'Un-woke' school board candidates win more than 2 dozen seats in Illinois, Wisconsin

Students sit in a high school classroom.
Students sit in a high school classroom. | Reuters/Stephane Mahe

An advocacy group supporting school board candidates opposed to teaching critical race theory and other progressive ideologies in public schools saw over two dozen of its endorsed candidates win their elections Tuesday.

The 1776 Project PAC reported on Twitter Wednesday that about 30 of its endorsed candidates emerged victorious in school board races in Wisconsin and Illinois the day before, earning a 46% success rate. 

The political action committee is dedicated to electing school board members nationwide that seek to abolish critical race theory and The 1619 Project curriculum from public schools.

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"Our PAC's endorsed candidates won 24 school board elections in Wisconsin. That's 24 new school board members that will defend parents rights and remove left-wing ideologies from the classroom," the group tweeted

"Our endorsed candidates also won 6 races in Illinois last night. Change is happening one county at a time."

Specifically, 24 of the 50 candidates the group endorsed in school board races in Wisconsin won, while six of the 15 candidates it supported in Illinois won their seats. This amounts to a success rate of over 46% on an evening when progressive candidates' victories in a Wisconsin Supreme Court race and the Chicago mayoral election dominated headlines. 

In Wisconsin, the 1776 Project PAC saw its endorsed candidates win seats in the Phillips School District, the Waterford School District and the Elkhorn School District.

One of the three candidates the group supported in the Hartford Union School District won, as did one of the two candidates it favored in the Kettle Moraine School District. Also victorious was one of its two endorsees in the Elmbrook School District, both of its preferred candidates running in the Germantown School District and all three endorsed candidates in the Mukwonago Area School District. 

Two of the group's three endorsed candidates won races in the Waukesha School District, while one of its two preferred candidates secured a spot on the Muskego Norway School Board. The PAC had a 50% success rate in the Pulaski and West DePere School Districts and went two for two in the La Crosse School District. 

The group also saw its favored candidates emerge victorious in elections in the Hamilton School District, the Oshkosh School District, the DePere School District, the Whitnall School District and the Oconto Falls School District. One additional candidate not included on the list of endorsements published on Twitter Saturday, Noah Strohm of the Burlington School District, won. 

The group's endorsed candidates suffered defeats in the Sheboygan Area School District, the Milwaukee-area West Bend School District, the Milwaukee-area Mequon-Thiensville School District, the Milwaukee-area North Lake School District, the Milwaukee-area Cedarburg School District, the Eau Claire School District, the River Falls School District, the Kenosha Unified School District, the Kiel Area School District, the Prentice School District and the Oconto Falls Schools District. 

In Illinois, the 1776 Project PAC endorsed three candidates running for school board seats in the Chicago-area Minooka School District, and two of them won. One of the two candidates the group endorsed in the Chicago-area Roselle D12 secured a place on the school board as did both of the candidates it supported in the Chicago-area Yorkville School District.

Although not included on a list of endorsed candidates posted on the group's Twitter account Saturday, the 1776 Project PAC listed Melissa Hendrix, a school board candidate in the Marshall Community Unit School District, as one of the six winners from Illinois. 1776 Project PAC-endorsed candidates running for school board seats in the Barrington School District and the Oswego Community Unit School District 308, located in the Chicago area, came up short.

Initially established in response to the parental complaints that elements of critical race theory were included in public school instruction in many school districts, the 1776 Project PAC's Twitter account now describes itself as committed to electing "un-woke school board members."

Encyclopedia Brittanica defines critical race theory as "an intellectual and social movement and loosely organized framework of legal analysis based on the premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed (culturally invented) category that is used to oppress and exploit people of color." 

The push to reform school boards came as many parents and community members descended on school board meetings across the nation to raise concerns about the inclusion of sexually explicit material in public school curricula and school libraries.

The inclusion of graphic material in public schools enabled 15 of 16 Texas school board candidates endorsed by the 1776 Project PAC to win their races outright in primary elections last May. 

1776 Project PAC-endorsed candidates flipped school boards in several of Florida's most populous counties from majority-liberal to majority-conservative in elections last summer. The group had a mixed success rate in last year's general election, although its candidates won over 100 races nationwide. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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