Florida House of Representatives Puts School Board Term Limits Vote on 2020 November Ballot
By Space Coast Daily // February 21, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis has endorsed the 8-year school board proposal
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Florida House announced on Thursday to put an 8-year school board term limits measure on the November ballot.
“This vote is a tremendous step forward,” said Nick Tomboulides, Executive Director of USTL. “School board term limits will elevate new voices and ideas to give all students the great education they deserve.”
“Now that the House has done its job, we encourage the State Senate to move swiftly, put this on the ballot and let the people decide.”
A 2018 McLaughlin and Associates poll found that school board term limits is the most popular and bipartisan issue in Florida, with support from 82 percent of voters. That includes 85 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of independent voters.
Florida has 8-year term limits on its governor, cabinet, state house, state senate, county commissioners and countless local positions. Since school board terms are spelled out in the state Constitution – school board term limits can only be created through constitutional amendment. The lack of term limits has allowed school board incumbency to grow unabated for decades.
In 2018, 85 percent of school board incumbents on the ballot were re-elected. One school board member, Keith Hudson of Columbia County, has held power continuously since 1976 (44 years).
Governor Ron DeSantis, who championed term limits while in Congress, has endorsed the 8-year school board proposal, writing that “No elected office, whether federal or local, is ever better off when run by career politicians.”
The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Anthony Sabatini in the State House (HJR 157). The Senate companion is being carried by Sen. Joe Gruters (SJR 1216). It will next be debated in the Senate Rules Committee.
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