Wednesday, September 19, 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.

Comments
In town hall, Eakins takes school district's story to Ballast Point

In town hall, Eakins takes school district's story to Ballast Point

  TAMPA — First, the disclaimer: "I'm not here to tell you how to vote," Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins told his audience. "I'm here to educate you about why we're here." From there, in his Tuesday evening prese...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Report: Pinellas improves on achievement gap, but needs to do better

Report: Pinellas improves on achievement gap, but needs to do better

School for black students in Pinellas County is getting better, according to a report detailing the school district's progress a year into its effort to close the educational achievement gap by 2027.Of the six measures included in...
Published: 09/18/18
Struggling Plato Academy Pinellas Park vows to boost school culture, attendance

Struggling Plato Academy Pinellas Park vows to boost school culture, attendance

After their school earned a D grade for its first year in operation, educators from Plato Academy Pinellas Park presented an improvement plan to Pinellas County school officials on Tuesday, pointing to plans to improve&#...
Published: 09/18/18
Pasco schools budget faces showdown over salaries

Pasco schools budget faces showdown over salaries

For the past several months, Pasco County school employees have agitated for pay raises this year.School Board members said they'd look for ways to direct more money into salaries, but so far haven't found much. The current proposal contemplates abou...
Published: 09/18/18
Pasco School Board to lay groundwork for new schools

Pasco School Board to lay groundwork for new schools

With enrollment growth continuing and school crowding yet unresolved, the Pasco County School Board is taking steps to add three promised new schools to its inventory.The School Board is poised to approve a 5-year work plan that includes a new middle...
Published: 09/18/18
Florida education news: Oversight, choice, growth and more

Florida education news: Oversight, choice, growth and more

OVERSIGHT: To help convince voters to support its cause, the Hillsborough County school district announces well-respected Betty Castor will head a committee to review spending of revenue from a requested sales tax increase. The money would be de...
Published: 09/18/18
Pasco schools see higher enrollment growth than projected

Pasco schools see higher enrollment growth than projected

In discussing pay raises, Pasco County school district officials have asked their employee negotiating groups to wait and see if more students turn up than expected.The state projected district enrollment to rise by 1,001 children. Any more than that...
Published: 09/17/18
Pasco school district changes its choice application procedures

Pasco school district changes its choice application procedures

Pasco County parents seeking to send their children to schools other than the ones they're assigned to will face a new set of deadlines this fall, as the district streamlines its process.Instead of separating the applications between magnet and open ...
Published: 09/17/18
Florida education news: School security, teacher pay, drinking water and more

Florida education news: School security, teacher pay, drinking water and more

SECURITY: The Florida Board of Education discusses ways to offer school districts more flexibility in the way they use future guardian funding. State lawmakers, however, aren't ready to release unused money from the current year allocation, TC P...
Published: 09/17/18
ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Sept. 9, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Sept. 9, 2018

School security remains a point of high concern for Florida schools. When it comes to funding, there’s talk of spending more. Yet when the idea of giving school districts flexibility in deciding how to use the money, there’s not too much ...
Published: 09/15/18