Parochial school staffer latest Gov. DeSantis appointee to Miami-Dade School Board

Maria Bosque-Blanco
The Governor has had a hand in getting four of the Miami-Dade County School Board's nine members to their seats.

A private, parochial school staffer appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis was sworn in as a Miami-Dade County School Board member Wednesday, replacing a Board member who chose to resign from the Board rather than give up her lobbying job.

Maria Bosque-Blanco is the Governor’s second appointment to the Miami-Dade County School Board since November. She works as a guidance counselor at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, a private, all-girl school in Miami. Bosque-Blanco will be taking the place of Lubby Navarro, who was elected Vice Chair of the Board in November.

Navarro, whose School Board term was scheduled to end in 2024, is a registered lobbyist for the South Broward Hospital District. She earned $220,501 in 2022 for her work on behalf of the hospital district, counting her salary and bonus, the Miami Herald reported.

A law that went into effect Dec. 31 bars paid lobbyists like Navarro from serving as elected officials. It’s the effect of a 2018 constitutional amendment that voters overwhelmingly approved.

DeSantis also appointed Bosque-Blanco to the Miami Dade College (MDC) Board of Trustees in 2021. Bosque-Blanco attended MDC and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology from Barry University, according to a release from the Governor’s Office.

Bosque-Blanco follows DeSantis appointee Daniel Espino onto the Miami-Dade County School Board. The Governor appointed Espino, a lawyer and former Miami Springs City Councilman, to represent the northwest part of the county to take the place of Christi Fraga. She resigned from the School Board to run for Mayor of Doral. She won that runoff election on Dec. 14.

Bosque-Blanco and Espino join two Board members DeSantis endorsed for election in August: Roberto Alonso, who represents District 4, and Monica Colucci, who represents District 8. That means the Governor had a direct role in seating four of the current nine members of the Miami-Dade County School Board members to their seats.

Soon after he won re-election last November, DeSantis vowed to “flip” more School Boards to lean right, even though officially they are nonpartisan offices in this state.

DeSantis has also tangled with the Broward County School Board, suspending and appointing members so that his appointees accounted for a majority on the Board at one point. Most recently, DeSantis declared a vacancy as Rodney Velez, elected to the Broward County School Board, tried to clear up complications related to a 27-year-old felony conviction that kept him from taking his seat immediately. DeSantis now has two appointees sitting on the School Board in the Democratic stronghold.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].

One comment

  • Victoria

    January 18, 2023 at 6:38 pm

    Regarding nonpartisan school boards, voters back in 1998 overwhelmingly voted to make these races nonpartisan. Yet the Governor is working against the stated will of the people.

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