Lee County School Board to add two more seats

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Residents voted to expand the school board from five to seven members Tuesday night.

“I think seven is going to be a lot harder. It’s hard to reach consensus when you have five members, if you look at Cape Coral you can see the problems they have with seven,” said newly elected District 4 member Steve Teuber.

The two new seats aren’t assigned to a district at the moment.

“We thought it would be more effective to have a school board that had single member districts,” said Anthony Thomas. “More effective for the politicians to be closer to the people and to have more neighborhood leaders.”

Thomas and a few others helped get the seats on the ballot.

Their hope is that the seats will bring diversity to the school board.

“We already achieved having gender diversity, and now we would like to have racial and ethnic diversity,” said Thomas.

Both Thomas and Teuber say a minority has never served on the Lee County School Board. Thomas hopes the state will agree to fill the seats in the near future.

“What we could do is have the governor appoint to the school board,” said Thomas.

The school board members would serve until 2016 and then they would then have to run for their seat.

The additions to the school board don’t come without a price tag. Each board member costs the school $125,000 a  year, including salary, benefits and expenses.

If the govenor decides to interview and appoint two people, that can happen anytime.

Anyone in Lee County can apply or run for the two new school board seats.

Author: Christina Lusby
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