Megan Harding, Tara O’Connor face off for Pasco School Board District 5: What you need to know

The two candidates aim to replace retiring board member Steve Luikart.
Pasco County School Board candidates Megan Harding, left, and Tara O'Connor.
Pasco County School Board candidates Megan Harding, left, and Tara O'Connor.
Published November 4 2018

WHO’S RUNNING
  • Megan Harding, 28, is a teacher at Fox Hollow Elementary School. She touts her time in the classroom at both district and charter schools as key to her understanding issues that will come before the board.
  • Tara O’Connor, 46, is a lawyer in Hudson. She has been an active parent and  school volunteer, and has asserted that her broader range of experiences gives her a better perspective on board responsibilities.
  • The five-member School Board sets policies and budgets for the 79-school system, which operates a $1.3 billion budget and employs more than 10,000 workers.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
  • The winner of this race will be thrust into debates over teacher pay, a proposed school closure and growth management, among other hot-button topics. She will replace the most outspoken member of a board that remains otherwise unchanged.
  • O’Connor says she would consider asking voters to increase property tax rates to bolster the district’s revenue for general operations.
  • Harding says she would support having the School Board appoint the superintendent, rather than the current countywide election process.
WHAT YOU NEED TO READ

Click here for the Tampa Bay Times voter guide, which will give you a breakdown of many of the 2018 races.

Follow @JeffSolochek for the latest on this race.

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