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Election Do's and Don'ts for School Districts

September 6, 2018

As we head into the November election season, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with a reminder and update of the current campaign finance laws applicable to school district ballot proposals. The November election date is a General School Election date, and we are aware that many school districts around the state are asking voters to consider various operating millage, sinking fund and bond proposals.

Under the Michigan Campaign Finance Act ("MCFA"), a school district is generally prohibited from using its resources to advocate for a ballot proposal. A school district is allowed to use its resources to inform the voters regarding a ballot proposal as long as the information is factual and objective. An important exception to this general rule is provided under the MCFA, which gives public officials such as board members and superintendents more leeway with regard to advocacy as long as school resources are not used to disseminate those views.

To help school districts comply with these rules, we have prepared a Do's and Don'ts for School Districts guide which provides a short summary of the current campaign finance laws applicable to public school ballot proposals as well as answers to commonly asked questions regarding compliance with the MCFA. A PDF version of the guide can be found through the link below:

Michigan Campaign Finance Act - Do's and Don'ts for School Districts

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