I would also reach out to school administrators to find ways to demonstrate and help with coordinating appreciation and other morale boosters. Ours is a board of seven people charged with overseeing a $1.6 billion budget, about 14,000 employees, and 100,000 students in 140 buildings. Studies have demonstrated that voters and taxpayers who do not have children in the school system are equally as concerned as voters with children in public schools. The school system has purchased “hot spots” for those children who do not have internet access. “I have long since had a passion for education," Meyer said in an interview this week, adding that her background in business and connection to the community make her a perfect fit for the School Board. I hope all these voters recognize that they too have a big stake in public education to prepare children for their work in the trades, a university and all future employment. The school board is the only democratically elected body in what would otherwise be an insulated institution. State constitutional amendments on the 2020 ballot, explained. The candidates are. Here’s what you need to know. "Clearwater civil rights icon Tal Rutledge: 'He wasn't afraid to speak out. In 2014, he began pumping more money into the schools, adding classroom aides, mental health counselors and liaisons to connect families with social services[9]. Hine got involved in public education issues in 2015, when her son was about to start kindergarten. Partnering with businesses and nonprofits with a goal of supporting students is one key element. Nurse said he viewed the board as the connection between the administration and the larger community, including staff and students. We must give our teachers grace as they navigate uncharted territory, as well as our students. Find out more about the election, including voting locations, mail-in ballots, registration and more at votepinellas.com. Another woman became so upset, she had to be asked to leave, leading to a confrontation and her eventual arrest. Caprice Edmond: In the era of COVID, it is essential that we keep track of student progress as never before. Early attention is critical. The bottom line is we need more teachers and the FDOE needs to start processing certifications more efficiently so that we can get the teachers we need hired, trained and ready in our district. As a school board member, I will take seriously the responsibility of ensuring Pinellas County Schools’ budget of $1.6 billion is invested effectively and managed carefully, striving to balance the needs of our students and school system employees and taxpayers. Provide a path to the middle class for all high school students. This is why I have, from day one, supported choices for families and teachers when it comes to returning to school amid the pandemic. The Pinellas County and State of Florida economy depends critically on a well-educated and prepared workforce. Teachers are working their best all day and could identify families that they think need to be contacted for a more one-on-one check in. Follow the Gabber’s ongoing elections coverage through November at, 2020 Pinellas County School Board candidates District 1, 2020 Pinellas County School Board candidates District 7, Meditation by the Sea: Finding Your Inner Peace in Gulfport. My belief that schools serve entire communities will appeal to all voters, along with my open door style of communication. [3][4][5][6][7], In addition to neighborhood schools, the district offers 70 application programs, including magnet, fundamental and career academy programs. RELATED: Pinellas County leaders make little progress with simultaneous teaching discussions. Turner now faces charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct, and battery on a law enforcement officer. I will support them by listening to them and talking about their concerns to district leaders – seeking, asking for ways for teachers and parents to receive support and relief they need. [13], Alternative and exceptional education schools, Fitzpatrick, Cara, Lisa Gartner, and Michael LaForgia.". ST. PETERSBURG — Much of the discussion about the open School Board seat representing southern Pinellas County has focused on race. FELONY CONVICTION? The winner will serve two years to complete the term of Rene Flowers, who resigned to run for County Commission. These students are the ones who grow (quickly) to be our families, our communities, our workforce, our economy and our military. We have 7,000 qualified teachers. The board needs to support them – just like in any other field that poses a risk of COVID transmission. And how they’d go about it differs. 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