2021 School Board Elections

Get on Board logoInterested in serving on your K-12 or community college school board? 

The Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) provides information for community members who are interested in serving on their local K-12 or community college school board. School board members are elected by their local communities in an election held the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in odd-numbered years. The next few regular school elections will take place on the following dates:

Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021
Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023

IASB develops a toolkit each election cycle that can help interested citizens understand school boards in Iowa and their role, qualifications and steps to become a school board candidate, rewards of school board service and more.

Check out IASB's School Board Elections FAQ page for answers to some of your most pressing questions! You can also watch a short informational video on the basics of becoming a school board candidate!

As you consider running in the next school election, think about what board service means to you. You can make a difference for students, your community, and ultimately the future of Iowa. Read testimonials from current board members about what board service means to them. Invest in the future—get on board. 

For questions, email Tammy Votava.


Webinar Series: Tuesday Talks with IASB

Join us for a free webinar series designed to provide valuable information new board candidates need! Learn more and register today!


Board Secretary Election Resources

Public Service Announcement (PSA)
Board Secretary Checklist
Sample Press Release
Social Media Graphics to Recruit Candidates
School Secretary Planning Worksheet: When submitting to your county auditor, please also send your worksheet to Jeff Rohrick.

Iowa Secretary of State's School Elections Resources

Visit the Iowa SOS school elections website for a variety of resources including:
Candidate's Guide
Affidavit of Candidacy
Nomination Petition

Iowa Board of Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Resources

Visit the Board of Ethics and Campaign Disclosure website for information on topics including:
Political advertising disclaimers
Permitted and prohibited corporate activity
Independent expenditures/in-kind contributions
Duties of a committee treasurer
Civil penalties
Out-of-state contributions
Prohibition in use of public funds for political purposes
Guidelines for campaign fundraising

Key Dates for November 2021 School Board Elections

If you are preparing for the fall school board elections, these key dates can help.

Aug. 23: Candidate filing begins.
Sept. 16: Candidate filing deadline by 5 p.m.
Sept. 21: Candidate withdrawal deadline by 5 p.m. (last day for candidates to withdraw by filing a written request with the school secretary).
Nov. 2: School election day. Polls are open from 7 a.m.–8 p.m.
Nov. 8 or 9: Tier 1 canvass of votes for all school districts: first Monday or Tuesday after the election, unless these dates fall on a legal holiday, then it pushes back one day. This is the only and final election canvass for school districts located within one county.
Nov. 15 or 16: Tier 2 canvass of votes for districts whose boundary lines fall within multiple counties: second Monday or Tuesday after the election, unless these dates fall on a legal holiday, then it pushes back one day. This is the second and final election canvass for those districts.
Dates vary: No date is legally specified for the organizational meeting. It is the first regular meeting or a special meeting held before the first regular meeting following the final canvass. During this meeting, the board organizes for the new term.

Review the differences between an Annual Meeting and Organizational Meeting and when these meetings should take place with the school elections change from September to November in odd-numbered years.

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