Powerful union bosses bankroll conservative School Board candidate’s opponent

An attempt to get a little balance on the Duval County School Board brought out the well-heeled teachers union, which does not want the liberal majority to be diluted.
School Board districts 2, 4 and 6 are up for election.

The member in District 6 is Charlotte Joyce, arguably the only firm conservative on the seven-member board. She has drawn opposition from Tanya Hardaker, an accountant who says she believes that “every student should have access to a free, safe, and engaging education.”
District 4 is Darryl Willie, the board chairman, who has no opposition.
In District 2 the incumbent is Elizabeth Andersen, a left-wing Democrat, former teacher and mental health counselor. She is being challenged by April Carney, a local small business owner.

“It started with me like any other parent,” Carney told Eye on Jacksonville. “During Covid, the masking opened our eyes. My daughter was having a hard time with masks and didn’t want to go to school. She had loved school. I started going to board meetings and speaking but realized it was doing no good.”

When a video of her speaking at a board meeting went viral, and she began getting calls urging her to run for the board, she decided to toss her hat in the ring.
Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, has put $100,000 into Andersen’s political action committee.
Weingarten has opposed school reform, teacher accountability and school choice for decades. Carney is for school reform, teacher accountability and school choice. She also favors parental rights and strong school safety measures.
Carney has raised about $57,000.

Should she be elected, and Joyce re-elected, the “left-leaning” members still would have a 5-2 majority on the board but concerned parents continue searching for
candidates to even the balance in the next election cycle.
Board members Lori Hershey and Cindy Pearson are registered Republicans. If they voted with Joyce and Carney on critical issues it would be a 4-3 majority and make a huge difference.
Currently, the most controversial issue facing the board is its refusal to support a new Florida law on parental rights. Conservatives are alarmed and outraged at that stance.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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