Carlucci Wants Voters To Get A Say In If School Board Switches From Elected To Appointed

Aug 8, 2019

Jacksonville At Large Group 4 City Councilman Matt Carlucci is in the process of lining up co-sponsors for his non-binding resolution calling on the council to let voters decide whether members on the Duval County Public Schools Board should be appointed by the mayor.

Carlucci said Thursday, Amendment 10, approved by voters statewide last year, requires all constitutional officers in Florida to be elected.

“Those constitutional officers would include the school board. But I guess you can get around that amendment by changing the charter of the City of Jacksonville.”

Related: Jacksonville Mayor-Appointed School Board Proposal Could Face Legal Hurdle

But whatever is to happen - Carlucci said the voters need to have a say in the matter.

“What my bill says, if we’re going to change it, it should only be changed in the charter by the Legislature or by a vote of the people. And if we’re going to take away our elected school board, it ought to be the people who make that decision on a referendum ballot.”

Carlucci filed his resolution Wednesday. It will go before the City Council next week.

The issue of whether the board should be elected or appointed has become a hot topic since state Rep. Jason Fischer started pushing a local bill that would change the city charter at the state level to allow the mayor to appoint members to the school board.

The bill surfaced as Mayor Lenny Curry,  City Council and Duval County Public Schools have been at odds over whether to hold a sales tax referendum later this year to fund repairing or replacing the county's aging schools.

See Also: Dozens Of Supporters Ask City Council To Allow Duval Schools Sales Tax Referendum

Fischer, a former school board member, chairs the Duval Delegation of state lawmakers. The group is set to vote the bill up or down in October before the next legislative session, which starts Jan. 14, 2020.

Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at choskinson@wjct.org, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter at @cydwjctnews.