By Laura Zorc for Florida Daily
Conservative school board members need our help
The battle to take back our local school districts have just begun in Florida. Now is not the time to get complacent.
In 2022, a record number of parents, infuriated by the indoctrination of our children, ran for seats on school boards and won. In Florida and other states across the nation, teachers unions and far-left activists no longer have total control over what is being taught in public schools.
But many of these parents are unsure of what to do next once they win their elections. While some of this is because they are new to public office, much of the problem stems from the fact that, for decades, superintendents and school boards have worked hand-in-hand to advance disastrous policies that help themselves but hurt students. When parents take over these boards, they are overwhelmed by how much work needs to be done.
When serving as a school board member in Florida, I realized how essential it was to prepare parents who win school board seats for the job. That’s why my group Building Education for Students Together recently hosted a training session for parents who won school board seats in 2022. We must do everything we can to push back against the left’s educational monopoly and support the vision Gov. Ron DeSantis has for Florida.
This is especially critical because many school districts are now controlled by power-hungry superintendents. Traditionally, school boards carry out functions like setting education policy, approving the district’s budget and spending and holding the superintendent accountable. But instead of doing their jobs and fighting for our kids, school board members have allowed superintendents to do whatever they please.
Unsurprisingly, we have seen the tendency for far-left activists who have embedded themselves within our education system to lash out when parents are chipping away at their grip on power. Perhaps the most notable example of this was when the National School Board Association (NSBA) coordinated with President Joe Biden’s Department of Education to target concerned parents, even going so far as to label them “domestic terrorists.”
The symbiotic relationship between superintendents and school boards, who are primarily concerned about benefiting themselves rather than students, must come to an end. Many parents are familiar with rules forcing them to keep comments at school board meetings to only three minutes. The purpose of policies like these is to decrease the likelihood of corrupt school boards and district leaders being publicly called out by voters.
Even when parents win school board seats, like we saw happen in 2022, attempts are made by those in power to keep them from exercising their new authority to enact real and meaningful changes. For example, a new school board member in Paradise Valley, Arizona, has shared that the superintendent refuses to allow her to have access to committee meetings. There are also other problems in the Grand Canyon State. The superintendent of Scottsdale, Arizona is attempting to intimidate two new school board members by sending a cease and desist letter from his personal attorney after they criticized him. The superintendent, a liberal activist honored by the Obama administration named Scott Menzel, had been the subject of a scandal after videos emerged of him making inflammatory anti-white comments.
Superintendents like these must be held accountable, not rewarded for their bad behavior. They are growing increasingly desperate to cling to power after realizing parents are tired of seeing their children being failed, and are ready for change.
The fight for our school boards is far from over. For decades, the system has been rigged against parents and their children in favor of rewarding corrupt school board members and superintendents.
While we are making progress in turning our school districts around, we must not grow complacent. Concerned Americans should continue to speak up at school board meetings, because parents on school boards need to know they are not alone in this battle to take back the public education system from the woke mob.
Our public schools have been more concerned with turning our kids into liberal activists, rather than creating well-rounded and well-educated citizens. We finally have a chance to stop this. As newly elected parents attempt to change their school boards and fight corruption, we must support them however we can.
Laura Zorc is the director of education reform for FreedomWorks’ BEST (Building Education for Students Together)