Lewis To Challenge Henderson For School Board Seat

By  //  June 28, 2012

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Education

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Fiscal conservative Keri Lewis has qualified for the Brevard County District 4 School Board seat and will be on the Aug. 14 primary ballot with incumbent Karen Henderson.

Keri Lewis

Lewis is a Brevard native and resides in Suntree.

“Spending at our schools increased dramatically during the real estate bubble and now that values and property tax revenues are declining the School Board is finding it hard to adapt,” said Lewis.

Lewis, a 37-year-old licensed insurance agent, is running on a platform of fiscal conservatism and using common sense to do more with less, according to her platform.

Karen Henderson

“I’m running for school board to reign in the spending while still maintaining the excellent ratings Brevard County Schools are known for,” Lewis said.

“We can’t keep going back to the taxpayers for more money because they’re tapped out – we must go back to pre-bubble spending levels, and this will involve thinking creatively about how to do more with less.”

Back To Reading, Writing, Arithmetic

Lewis says she wants to see education get “back to basics,” with more emphasis on the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, and less emphasis on technology and standardized testing.

“We seem to have put the proverbial cart before the horse by emphasizing the use of technology in the classroom and teaching to the FCAT,” Lewis said. “Technology and standardized testing are useful tools, but they are supplemental to the process and presuppose students that can read, write and do math.”

“We seem to have put the proverbial cart before the horse by emphasizing the use of technology in the classroom and teaching to the FCAT,” Lewis said.

“Technology and standardized testing are useful tools, but they are supplemental to the process and presuppose students that can read, write and do math.”

The School Board is a non-partisan race, and the race for the District 4 seat will be decided in the primary election on Aug. 14. Lewis encourages people to vote, because the School Board constitutes almost half of your property tax bill, and is now looking at other funding mechanisms.

“The School Board is currently considering putting a half cent sales tax on the ballot,” Lewis said.

“The incumbent has voted to raise property taxes before and now wants to raise them again in the form of a sales tax. If you want a real fiscal conservative who will fight to maintain the quality of our schools while living within our means you should vote for me on Aug. 14.”

For information about Lewis call 321-537-8030 or log on to VoteForKeri.com

CLICK HERE FOR DISTRICT 4 BOUNDARIES


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8 Comments on "Lewis To Challenge Henderson For School Board Seat"

  1. Marcus June 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm · Reply

    Interesting. To do more with less? What does this exactly mean? Ms. Lewis what is your exact plan to help fund our school district? And when did we have pre-bubble spending? Especially when in the past couple of years, we have been given less funding by our state and federal governments.

    I agree with your statement with back to basics. How do you plan to get us back to the basics?

    If you choose please respond back to these questions at mchochman@aol.com.

    Thank you for listening

    Marcus

  2. Kei Lewis June 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm · Reply

    Hi Marcus, thanks for your questions.

    Please visit my web site to view the actual funding our schools have received over the last 10 years, and contrast that with the declining enrollment figures. You will probably be surprised by the numbers, because they don’t support the sky is falling claims we’ve heard over the last few years. The fact is school revenues have remained right at $660 million for the last three years.

    In regards to your question regarding funding, my answer is we don’t have a funding problem, we have a spending problem. I am currently working on tying our graduation and school ratings to the monies spent on our schools to directly answer the question: is money really the answer? Have the children really benefited from the fact our spending has gone from $6k per child in 2002 to $8,700 per student in 2011? I think we can both guess the answer to that one, but I want to see the actual data because I think it will be very enlightening, and I prefer to deal in facts.

    In regards to getting back to basics, we need to move away from standardized test prep. I am still researching the background and requirements of FCAT, but I have been told by a couple of people that if we don’t take the federal funding, we can basically choose to opt out. As I said, I’m still checking to see if this is factually correct, but if that is in fact the case that is something we should be discussing. At a minimum we should be lobbying the state legislature and the Governor to get away from the FCAT.

    I’m going to email these answers to you as you asked, but I wanted to post them publicly because I seem to be getting them over and over.

    Thanks again for your interest,

    Keri Lewis
    Candidate for Brevard County School Board, District 4

  3. Dina June 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm · Reply

    Ms. Lewis,

    Fiscally conservative? It would be great to have someone fiscally conservative and strong on the panel.

    Having given my 2 boys chances to perform well in the public school system, they both got “lost” in the public school system and were taken out. In both boys situations the schools showed no desire to build young men educationally. It is a follow-along system … do what you are told, don’t rock the boat. Achievement means little here because they merely push kids through the system using a myriad of taxpayer money. Needless to say, they both will end up graduating from private school.

    I would appreciate listening to your aspirations if you have scheduled speaking engagements close to the elections.

    Thank you and good luck.

    Brevard citizen

  4. Jay D. Dineen June 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm · Reply

    How would Ms. Lewis rate the performance of Brian Binggeli as superintendent and the overall performance of the Brevard School Board in general? And as a school board member how much can you truly affect the performance of so many terrible elementary school principals in Brevard County if the superintendent can’t fix the problem?

  5. I am Not surprised June 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm · Reply

    Ms. Lewis,

    Welcome to the fight and I wish anyone the best of luck when they put their name out there in an effort to try and do something different.

    I am very curious if you think we can bring real accountability to all the administrators that utilized public funds and can’t get the desired results for the District. One place is the School Of Choice as it yearly provides student projections that uses staff to accommodate student enrollment.

    The problem is that the expensive facilities planning software, staff, and the 7 step “Student Accommodation Plan”, along with the School Of Choice projections are always wildly inaccurate, in such that in 2009 the District stop publishing the margin of error on the projections vs actual data ?

    Can we get an accounting on what this process cost and if it is serving the county as the constant redistricting is evident that something is broken and we keep spending money to produce bad data….. If it cost more than it benefits the District, lets shut it down, or find a new way the get this data.

  6. Claudia McClain July 7, 2012 at 7:15 pm · Reply

    Good Luck! I hope you will look into vouchers for Home School parents.
    I think that it is very unfair that Seniors still have to pay school taxes at all.

  7. A Voting Citizen July 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm · Reply

    Ms. Lewis,
    Have you seen the mandates State of Florida is imposing on all districts in the upcoming years? How do you propose our district is to meet the mandates with fewer dollars? How do you plan on our children keeping academic pace and be competitive in the work force without the latest technology and 21st century classrooms? Your platform of “reining in spending while still maintaining the excellent ratings Brevard County Schools are known for” is easy to say. As a voter and educator I want details not generalized statements.

    What makes you believe that teachers in Brevard County “teach to the FCAT?” Test preparation is not teaching the subject matter that will be on the FCAT. We teach with the end in mind, The FCAT tests knowledge students have learned from our standards and objectives.

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