Goodwin Touts Statewide Leadership

Politics

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY JUL 5, 2018

Jane Goodwin’s history rallying votes to promote a vision for stronger education dates back to before she ever ran for Sarasota School Board. She’s been involved now in five different campaigns supporting a tax to benefit the school district, all of which involved in successful passage of referenda. Now, she’s running for a third term on the School Board. “I have passion for this work and passion for the kids,” she says.

Over her last two terms, Goodwin says she’s advanced to leadership positions both locally and with state organizations like the Florida School Boards Association, where she chairs the Legislative Committee. She’s spoken with Tallahassee leaders extensively about better funding for the district, though that sometimes has resulted in disappointment like being forced to rollback tax levels despite growth in property values.

Amid a push in many quarters for charter school and voucher expansion, she says the school district can meet the special needs of students without taking resources away from the district. A former teacher, she’s troubled by a seeming resegregation that comes with the so-called school choice. “Look in places like Jacksonville, you see a lot of children have gone to charter and private schools, and see that children of color remain in public schools,” she says. She doesn’t want to see such a trend continue here.

With school safety at top of mind for many parents, opponents have criticized Goodwin’s support of a district police force. But she says that’s largely the result of years of discussion. Years ago, “[Sheriff] Tom Knight said I wish you had a real policing entity to talk to,” Goodwin says. “Now we do.” She dismissed suggestions new Superintendent Todd Bowden has caused rifts with the sheriff or other entities.

Goodwin faces three opponents—Pamela Gavette, Richard Linden and Justin Cody Willis—in Aug. 28 election. A runoff, if needed, is scheduled for Nov. 6.

Picture courtesy Goodwin campaign: Goodwin files for re-election.

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