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School board term-limit proposal heads to full CRC

A proposal that would establish term limits on county school board members cleared a panel of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission on Thursday, pushing it closer to potentially making an appearance on the November ballot.

The proposed change to the state constitution would limit school board members to eight consecutive years in office — the same as Florida legislators. Commissioner Erika Donalds, who is sponsoring the proposal, said the change to the state constitution would better represent the “will of the people.”

“We all know that the easiest way to be elected is to already be elected,” Donalds told commissioners in the Local Government Committee.

Those opposing the change, however, called it an unnecessary and unfair proposal that would “deploy a tool to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.”

Ruth Melton, the director for the Florida School Board Association, said the measure is not necessary because school board elections are “nonpartisan” and only have “real people with real ideas” running for a seat.

“The voters elected these people with a certain expectation of service, they too are being deprived from an important voice and an important choice,” Melton said.

Bob Solari, an Indian River County Commissioner appointed to the CRC by Senate President Joe Negron, said he would not support it because he wanted to put “significant issues” on the 2018 November ballot.

“This proposal to me seems to remove the ability for local communities to make important decisions locally,” Solari said.

With Thursday’s favorable vote, the measure now heads to the full CRC for consideration, where the 37-member body will have the power to put it before voters in November.

Written By

Ana covers politics and policy Before joining the News Service of Florida she wrote for the Naples Daily News and was the legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press and covered policy issues impacting immigration, the environment, criminal justice and social welfare in Florida. She holds a B.A. in journalism from San Diego State University. After graduating in 2014, she worked as a criminal justice reporter for the Monterey Herald and the Monterey County Weekly. She has also freelanced for The Washington Post at the U.S.-Mexico border covering crime in the border city of Tijuana, where she grew up. Ana is fluent in Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese.

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