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The Duval County School Board as a fall back or a stepping-stone

 In Jacksonville you really have had to piss somebody off to get a primary challenger for a school board race if you are an incumbent. Historically many have run unopposed. Then for those people who are in a race quite often they are decided in primaries where very few people vote. There are three SB elections this year and two will be decided by August 26th months before the general election in November.

This stunning lack of interest gets worse because compared to other races school board races are relatively easy and cheap to win, since this is the case people often use the school board race as a fall back position or a stepping stone to something they consider greater.

Take recently departed school board member W.C. Gentry only ran for the school board after a failed senate race. Then there is Scott Shine running now but only after he did so for the city council and Jason Fischer whose first venture in politics was for a seat on the soil and water board. All three had different aspirations before they decided to run for the school board.

What’s my point here? Basically the city treats the school board like an after thought during election season but then its front page news the rest of the year. Because of this we often get school board members who in my opinion shouldn’t be there and this ineffective leadership has led to many of our problems. I don’t blame the three men mentioned above and all the others who have used the school board as a stepping-stone on the way up or the way down (Tommy Hazouri anyone). I blame the city for letting them do so and util the city takes the school board seriously, spinning our wheels rather than improving will be the order of the day.

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