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School Board Term Limits Moves Forward

March 21st, 2018 by Mike Vasilinda

Florida voters may soon decide if local School Board  members should be subject to an eight year term limit. The limit would not apply to other local officials, which as Mike Vasilinda tells us raises questions about the motives behind the proposal before the Constitution Revision Commission

The idea to limit school board members to eight years in office comes, ironically, from a School Board member Erika Donalds of Collier County.
“Term limits provide fresh faces and new ideas to elective office. They reduce special interest influence and make room for the citizen legislature.”

Former lawmakers on the Commission, Arthenia Joyner and Chris Smith, who were subject to term limits, say limiting school board members would result in less experience.

 

“It took time to get up to speed. And then a the point where we best mastered what it was we were elected to do, it was time to go” Joyner told Commissioners.

“We have term limits. People don’t want them they go vote and throw them out” Smith reminded the room.

 

Many in the Capitol believe the term limits are really retribution by the House Speaker. That’s after more  than a dozen school boards joined a law suit challenging the House Speakers Schools of Hope legislation.

 

The sponsor was appointed to the revision commission by the Speaker of the House. The Florida School Boards Assn said no comment when asked about the motivation,

Executive Director Andrea Messina did tells us that during the last election cycle, 87 incumbent school board members were re-elected while 75 new Members also got seats. Messina says  the numbers speak for themselves.

 

“Forty six percent of the school board seats had new members. Forty six percent! That’s almost fifty percent” says Messina.

No other local officials would face term limits under the proposal.

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