Term limits are very popular in America. One way to “drain the swamp” is to term limit members of Congress. The surge in term limit legislation has been at the state level.
The Florida Legislature in 2016 passed legislation making it the first in the nation to call for an Article V amendment convention exclusive to the subject of putting term limits on Congress. The memorial, HM 417, passed the State House and State Senate by a unanimous voice vote.
In 1992 Florida passed Amendment 9 term limiting members of the state legislature passed. The amendment was passed with the approval of 76% of voters. Amendment 9 offices covered are: Florida Representative and Senator, Lieutenant Governor, Florida Cabinet, and U.S. Senator and Representative. [Emphasis added]
So while the Sunshine State awaits an Article V amendment convention perhaps Floridians should look at term limiting local school board members?
One state is already on its way to term limiting school board members. In a column titled “Term limits for school board members would get public vote under House measure” by Ed Anderson, from the Louisiana Times-Picaune reports:
Voters across the state would decide this fall whether their local school board members should be subject to a three-term limit, according to a bill approved by a House committee Wednesday.
The Committee on House and Governmental Affairs voted 14-4 for House Bill 410 by Rep. Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge, sending it to the full House for more debate.
The bill is a major education initiative by the state’s biggest business lobby, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry; the Council for a Better Louisiana, an education advocacy group; and the chambers of commerce across the state.
[ … ]
Carter said the bill allows local voters to decide the issue, not the Legislature. “Fresh blood is what is needed in education,” he said.
“Every four years, voters have an opportunity to decide to keep or replace school board members,” argued Nolton Senegal, executive director of the Louisiana School Boards Association. He said 60 percent of the board members turned over four years ago.
According to Ballotpedia:
The following statistics about school board elections in 2014 apply to the top 1,000 public school districts, as measured by student enrollment:
- A total of 2,189 school board seats were up for election in 670 school districts in 37 states.
- 75.51 percent of incumbents whose seats were on the ballot ran for re-election.
- 35.81 percent of those incumbents ran unopposed.
- 124 school districts held elections in which all the incumbents ran unopposed.
- Only 30 districts with 58 seats up for election featured no incumbents running.
- 81.31 percent of incumbents were re-elected, including unopposed incumbents.
- 70.88 percent of incumbents who faced challengers won re-election.
- 61.40 percent of all seats up for election were retained by incumbents.
There are 67 county school boards in Florida. They wield great power to tax and spend, primarily via property taxes and local referendums. Incumbents are the problem as they become entrenched and typically vote unanimously on issues important to parents, students and teachers. Many parents, students and teachers feel disenfranchised. School choice helps somewhat to empower parents and students.
Another way to “drain the education swamp” is to impose term limits on local school boards.
RELATED VIDEO: Candidate Trump promises to support Term Limits for members of Congress.