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Utah lawmakers are honing in on a way to elect school board members.

But the House and Senate seem to have picked opposing methods.

A bill creating nonpartisan state school board elections was already on its way to the Senate Wednesday when the House doubled down by rejecting a proposal to make school board candidates go through party vetting.

SB104, sponsored by Highland Republican Sen. Alvin Jackson, was defeated in a 31-43 vote of the House. The bill won Senate approval last month but stumbled in the House amid objections to placing schools in political crosshairs.

"That is where I fear we'll go off the rails," Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, said. "We'll get into party politics and issues that aren't related to education."

Wednesday's vote came one day after House members approved a nonpartisan election proposal from Mapleton Republican Rep. Francis Gibson and struck down a proposed constitutional amendment to let the governor appoint state school board members.

State senators, on the other hand, gave final approval to a pair of bills that would set up partisan elections and ask voters in 2016 to approve gubernatorial appointments.

Those two bills will now be sent to the House, where nearly identical proposals have failed.

Lawmakers are expected to pass legislation altering school board elections this year in response to a September court ruling that effectively struck down the current election system.

Of the three bills still in play, only Gibson's HB186 presents an option that has not been rejected by one of the Legislature's two chambers. Gibson describes his bill as a compromise, requiring candidates to gather signatures from their constituents as an alternative to the vetting of the party caucus and convention system.

"It does take effort. It is not easy," Gibson said during bebate of his bill on Tuesday. "But if you want to be on the state school board, it shouldn't be easy."

A recent poll by found that a majority of Utah voters, including a plurality of Republicans, favor nonpartisan elections for the state school board. But Orem Republican Rep. Keven Stratton, the House sponsor of SB104, questioned whether Utah voters are aware that the state had previously used, and ultimately withdrew from, nonpartisan elections for the state school board.

"It doesn't make sense to return to something that hasn't worked in the past," he said.

Rep. Marie Poulson, D-Cottonwood Heights, said the question of school board elections comes down to whom candidates should represent.

"Do we want them to be accountable to lobbyists and delegates, or do we want them to be accountable to parents, educators and children?" she asked.