Movement continues toward an elected Duval County Schools Superintendent
Appointed Duval Schools Superintendent Diana Greene doesn't believe the position should be elected.

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Elected supes are rare in big counties.

On Friday afternoon, the Jacksonville City Council Rules Committee planned to consider a motion to oppose proposed changes to the local school board.

But before they could do that, the bill was changed.

Ordinance 2019-595 would express opposition to a proposed “local bill” in the state Legislature that would allow the Jacksonville Mayor to appoint the Duval County School Board.

Hours before the meeting, the local bill proposed was changed. The new version scraps that and seeks an elected superintendent, a move that would align Duval with 41 other counties in the state.

Some see a political context.

Local Bill J-1 was drafted in August by state Rep. Jason Fischer, a former School Board member.

Fischer is an ally of Mayor Lenny Curry, and Curry wants an elected Superintendentcurrently an appointed position.

Fischer explained the changes Friday, saying there was “no better way to strengthen voters’ voices and control over their local school system than to elect the Superintendent.”

Despite the last-minute change, Rules Committee member Matt Carlucci, who introduced the original legislation, urged voting to oppose the appointed school board in the agenda meeting.

But in the regular meeting, Carlucci pushed for deferral, saying that he wanted a sunshine meeting to discuss the new bill.

Councilman Garrett Dennis wondered why Carlucci suddenly had a change of heart, and why not all Council members had timely access to the new legislation.

“Sometimes in the name of reform we impede a natural body from doing its duties it’s been doing well for many years,” Carlucci said.

Councilwoman Brenda Priestly-Jackson also wondered why this was deemed an amended bill, noting that it’s completely different. She also wondered why some but not all knew that the changed bill was coming.

Expect more debate in the coming weeks. An elected school superintendent may be a heavy lift.

Former Mayor and current City Council Vice President Tommy Hazouri said last month that “no large county should have an elected school superintendent.”

Potential changes to the way schools are governed in Duval County comes just as the relationship between the City Council and the School Board is at a low ebb.

Last week, the Jacksonville City Council withdrew a referendum on a half-cent sales tax to benefit Duval County schools capital needs.

This withdrawal was the latest twist in a monthslong saga that has seen bill deferments and no clear consensus: a choose-your-own-adventure novel with a circular narrative.

The Duval Delegation meets Oct. 30, leaving the Council some time for more twists and turns.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


15 comments

  • Seber Newsome III

    September 5, 2019 at 11:00 am

    I think the school superintendent should be elected. Ms. Greene is a disappointment. She does not even support students having to stand for the National Anthem in a military town like Jacksonville. If the superintendent was elected, she would not win.

  • Frankie M.

    September 5, 2019 at 11:02 am

    I wonder if Lenny would want an elected superintendent if his boy Vitti was still here? Yeah that’s what I thought too.

  • Frankie M.

    September 5, 2019 at 11:08 am

    Dr. Greene was elected by the school board. Just like Zahn with the JEA and Peppers with the KHA. Only in those cases the boards were controlled by Curry. Lenny’s just butthurt he can’t control the school board. If you want students to stand to salute the flag move to Russia or the People’s Democratic Republic of North Korea. I hear it’s mandatory there.

  • Seber Newsome III

    September 6, 2019 at 6:24 am

    Frankie M. , we all know your a socialist and a member of the Northside Coalition, which go hand in hand. Why dont you move to Cuba.

    • Seber Newsome III

      September 6, 2019 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks you Billy, I have since cut my hair and got rid of my mustache, but, yes it is a nice picture 🙂

    • Seber Newsome III

      September 7, 2019 at 10:49 am

      Billy Gardiner, we all know about your criminal past, and time served in prison. I looked it up.

  • Kierstin

    September 6, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Here in America students have the right to decide whether to stand for the pledge of allegiance or national anthem, a right that is protected by the first amendment. This right had been upheld by the Supreme Court (West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette). If you don’t agree with our constitutionally protected rights, maybe you should be the one to move.

    Further, while many people in Jacksonville work at one of the several bases located throughout town, most people do not. In fact, I do not know a single person who does, neither family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, nor classmates. In the same manner that Jacksonville is not considered a college town despite the fact that several public and private colleges and universities been be found within the curry limits, Jacksonville can also not be considered a military town as most residents have nothing to do with the military.

  • Frankie M.

    September 6, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Hey Seber. I spent 4 years overseas serving my country while you were driving around with yellow ribbons on your pickup truck complaining about players taking a knee. The way I see it I served to give them the choice of whether they want to stand or not. As far as elections go can I elect the next council president? Dennis
    Garrett is my choice.

    • Seber Newsome III

      September 6, 2019 at 11:17 pm

      Frankie M., I spent 5 years overseas serving my country out of total of 10 years serving my country. Second, I have never owned a pickup truck, and do not have yellow ribbons. Garrett Dennis is a joke, like you are Frankie.Dennis is Mr. Irrelevant hahahaha , just like you!

  • Frankie M.

    September 7, 2019 at 10:12 am

    He’s not irrelevant if we get to vote for council prez but we won’t do that because of…reasons. If Anna Brosche can do it why not Dennis? Afraid his marijuana decriminalization bill will cut into court fees and the bloated JSO budget? Seber, everyone knows you are just a Gary Snow wannabe who wraps himself in the flag or chains himself to a Confederate monument no matter what the issue is…i.e., crumbling schools.

    It was interesting how Fischer’s bill went from appointing the school board to electing the superintendent. Nice flip flop. His reasoning for the change….to give voters a greater voice. Funny logic since Fischer & co. don’t want to give voters a say in the current school tax referendum.

  • Seber Newsome III

    September 7, 2019 at 10:53 am

    You really think Garrett Dennis can be the city council president, you must be joking. He is Mr. Irrelevant, no one cares what he says. He is the council clown.

  • Sonja Fitch

    September 7, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Lol looting Lenny lol lol. Just like a trumpet to be “the chosen one” to make allllllll of the decisions. Ps it was pitiful to watch Sheriff Williams foot shuffle through the Dorian reports. Sheriff Williams have you arrested the 3 rogue JS0cops for domestic terrorism? Hey Sheriff how many folks have been shot in just 4 days? Sir you are a lousy Sheriff. Looting Lenny what you gonna destroy this week? Steal tax payer dollars from tax payers?

    • Seber Newsome III

      September 7, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      Sonja Fitch, are you blaming the police for black on black crime? No one can stop blacks from killing blacks. It is the individuals who are doing this, and the black community is afraid to tell on the ones doing it, so it will never stop.

  • Frankie M.

    September 7, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    That’s my point Seber. It won’t happen because they don’t trust the voters to vote on that but for some reason they believe the voters should elect the superintendent?

Comments are closed.


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