Whither the Florida Coalition of School Board Members?

The small but influential group remains intact despite some key changes in membership.
Published Nov. 26, 2018|Updated Nov. 27, 2018

The conservative leaning Florida Coalition of School Board Members Coalition consistently fought above its weight during the past two legislative cycles, winning key battles on school choice, charters and other hot-button education issues in the state.

But the relatively small group, which split from the larger Florida School Boards Association a few years back over a voucher lawsuit, lost several of its members during the midterm elections.

Rebecca Negron of Martin County, the wife of past Senate president Joe Negron, didn't win her reelection bid. Two previous coalition leaders, Erika Donalds of Collier County and Shawn Frost of Indian River County, did not seek second terms.

Then, the group's website went blank. That led some observers to speculate that the coalition had hit the rocks.

Not so, Donalds said.

The group is simply getting a fresh, new website as its next generation of leaders steps up. Tina Descovich, recently named Brevard County School Board chairwoman, will take over as the coalition's next president.

And a slate of board members from across the state is expected to take over the role of advocating the more Republican-minded free market education agenda.

"Expect lots of activity from them this year!" Donalds said via email. "New members, new energy — exciting times."