BOUNTIFUL — Former Utah State School Board candidate Breck England has filed a lawsuit against Governor Gary Herbert.
The Bountiful resident is reportedly alleging the process used to select candidates for the board is unconstitutional. England was one of 18 candidates who sought the position that would represent most of Davis County. That was before it was pared down by a committee and then the governor narrowed the position to two candidates.
England could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The lawsuit also reportedly alleges “viewpoint discrimination” in the candidate selection process.
“We can lead the nation in educational performance. We have great kids. We have great teachers. What we don’t have are solid education goals and the will to educate. I want to fix that,” information England said in a previous Clipper article on his candidacy.
“I’m the only candidate who knows the inner workings of public schools, colleges and private business,” he said in the article. “I’ve managed both a classroom and a business. I know how to achieve goals.”
England is senior product developer for FranklinCovey Company. He was director of consulting for Shipley Associates, a consulting firm that merged with FranklinCovey. He has a Ph.D. in English pedagogy from the University of Utah and taught at Bountiful High School for 10 years.
“I have always thought the current system of selecting state school board candidates is not democratic,” said Kim Burningham, who is retiring at year’s end from the state school board representing the area.
“The Constitution says it should be an elected body. That does not mean to be selected after a select group of 12 people have eliminated almost everybody,” he said.
Noting there have been previous lawsuits, the former legislator said the House of Representatives approved changes to the process only to have that shot down by the Senate.
“I think a lawsuit is maybe the best avenue at this point,” Burningham said. “I would love to see the court look at this very seriously. I think it deprives the public of their vote. Voting on two of the original 18 (candidates) is hardly a vote.”