House committee moves forward with joint resolution to stop paying school board members
Fleming Island Rep. Sam Garrison wants to put the school board members’ salary on the ballot in the next General Election, turning the elected positions from paid to volunteer.
On Friday, at the House Secondary Education & Career Development Subcommittee meeting, members voted along party lines to move forward with a proposed constitutional amendment (HJR 1461) that would bar compensation of county school board members.
“This is a critical function but one, quite frankly, that, unfortunately, has become highly politicized, and I think these salaries have a lot to do with it,” Garrison said.
The proposed salary prohibition would apply to “any school board member newly elected on or after November 8, 2022, and to any district school board member reelected on or after November 8, 2022, with at least eight years of consecutive service.”
To become law, the joint resolution would have to be approved by three-fifths of the membership of each legislative house. If the votes stay along party lines, Republicans would have the numbers, though the proposal would still be subject to approval by at least 60% of Florida voters.
Currently, school board districts receive a statewide average salary of $35,995, based in part on a school district’s population. Garrison said in addition to annual salaries, school board members receive benefits, with an average value of around $11,000.
According to the bill’s analysis, the proposal would align Florida with 61% of other states whose school board members serve without compensation.
But a representative from the Florida School Boards Association contended the comparison is unjust because the unique structure of Florida’s 65 school districts means each school district has a much larger enrollment than school districts in other states.
“Just for context, the state of Texas, a similarly populated state, has over 1000 school districts. So, you can see how the responsibility would be diffused there,” BillieAnne Gray said.
Speaking on behalf of the Small School … READ FULL ARTICLE via Florida Politics