After major backlash from some educators and lawmakers, School Board member salaries will likely remain intact across Florida’s 67 school districts.
That’s because HB 1467, a bill that originally proposed slashing School Board salaries, has been put on hold. Instead, bill sponsor Rep. Sam Garrison is pursuing eight-year term limits on school board members.
And another lawmaker, Sen. Joe Gruters, thinks those School Board term limits should be 12 years.
The two are sponsors of the original bill related to board member salaries. Garrison is a Republican who represents part of Clay County. Gruters represents Sarasota County and part of Charlotte County. He also is chair of the Republican Party of Florida.
For the second year in a row, Garrison proposed removing the salaries of elected School Board members, but backed down after backlash. The proposal received criticism that it undervalues the work required of Florida school board members and raises questions of sexism, as most Florida school board members are women.
Gruters also has a Senate version of the original bill that reduces School Board salaries to under $30,000 a year, similar to what lawmakers get paid, but that bill has not been moving recently.
Gruters also has filed changes to HB 1467, regarding school library books and instructional materials, which potentially raises concerns of censorship and book banning in schools.
/swaps the 8-year term limit for school board members to 12 years;
/requires the Department of Education to develop online training for school personnel involved in the “selection and maintenance of library media and collections or materials maintained on a reading list.” The amendment also requires that no later than July 1, 2023, the superintendent will have to certify all media specialists and school librarians have completed the online training;
/requires that superintendents identify to the Commissioner of Education any materials that were removed or discontinued due to objection;
The Senate Rules Committee will vote Tuesday whether to adopt Gruters’ amendment to HB 1467.
That said, school board salaries are currently on hold, but it is possible things could change in the final weeks and days of the 2022 Legislative Session.
Danielle J. Brown reporting; Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Diane Rado for questions: [email protected]. Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.