Sunday, November 18, 2018

Hillsborough School Board 4: Melissa Snively fends off challenge

Hillsborough County School Board member Melissa Snively easily beat back a challenge by event planner LaShonda Davison, Tuesday's election returns showed.

Snively, 48, an insurance agent with four children in the public schools, captured three quarters of the votes in District 4, a mostly conservative stretch of East Hillsborough.

Davison, 40 declined to take part in the interview and questionnaire process by the Tampa Bay Times.

Davison also raised relatively little money – $3,521, compared with $66,230 by Snively.

Snively's first term on the board was not without controversy. She went against the rest of the board last year in voting against cutbacks in busing for students who live within two miles of their schools.

The cuts had the most dramatic effects on her community, East Hillsborough's Lithia. Snively said she was not against the cuts, which saved roughly $1 million; but that they were made without enough planning.

Snively was in the minority on other votes as well and clashed with longtime members Susan Valdes and April Griffin, who are both stepping down in November.

Although supported by conservative organizations that champion school choice, Snively has long insisted that public schools are the best choice for the majority of children, and that the district should do the best possible job promoting its schools.

She also has argued for greater transparency in the district's $3 billion budget, and posed questions about student discipline practices that some teachers find too lenient.

The seven members of the Hillsborough County School Board serve four-year terms overseeing the nation's eighth largest public school district. The positions are nonpartisan and pay$44,423 a year

For statewide election coverage check out The Buzz

For local election coverage check out the Bay Buzz

For school board election coverage check out The Gradebook.

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