Letter: End pay for school board members

District 1 – Beverly Slough
District 2 – Tommy Allen, Chair
District 3 – Bill Mignon, Vice Chair
District 4 – Kelly Barrera
District 5 – Patrick Canan

Jay Bliss
St Augustine, FL

Florida is one of the minority states that pays elected school board members handsomely, in St Johns County, the base pay is $35,501 plus benefits.

That’s strong incentive to get on, and stay on, as a school board member.

In 75% of school districts throughout our country, school board membership is considered a civic duty, or community service position. The volunteer school board members in those states have little incentive, other than to provide the guidance and oversight of school district policies and practices.

Florida not only taps into school tax monies to pay district board members, they also affect member outlooks by providing/requiring school board member certification. Organizations that oversee these certification courses, and their content, could influence board members’ thinking.

We’re fortunate that St Johns County has dedicated school board members; but, throughout Florida and throughout our nation, there is overwhelming evidence that we are failing to provide the mental and physical exercises that make for a competent population.

School Board meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month at 9:00 a.m. at the School Board Administration Building at 40 Orange Street, unless otherwise posted. Workshops are held at 8:30 a.m. on the first and fourth Tuesday of the month as needed. School board term limits will help keep our Board refreshed and upbeat.

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