Duval County Public Schools elections (2014)

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2014 Duval County Public Schools Elections

General Election date:
August 26, 2014
Runoff Election date:
November 4, 2014
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
Elections
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
References
See also
Florida
Duval County Public Schools
Duval County, Florida ballot measures
Local ballot measures, Florida
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Three seats on the Duval County School Board were up for general election on August 26, 2014. The general election determined if candidates for each seat could garner a majority of the vote total. Because no candidate received 50 percent plus one of the general election votes in District 2, the top two vote recipients advanced to the runoff election on November 4, 2014.

The District 2 race featured four newcomers running to replace incumbent Fred Lee, who did not file for re-election. While Scott Shine easily advanced to the runoff election, Samuel Hall and Theresa Graham were separated by just two votes to take the second ballot position in the runoff at the end of the night. A recount was held that found Hall the second place victor with four vote lead over Graham.[1] Shine ultimately won the seat after defeating Hall in the runoff election.

Incumbent Paula D. Wright faced and defeated challenger Darryl Willie in the District 4 race. District 6 incumbent Becki Couch won re-election without opposition.

See also: What was at stake in the Duval County School 2014 election?

About the district

See also: Duval County Public Schools, Florida
Duval County Public Schools is located in Duval County, Florida
Duval County Public Schools is based in Jacksonville, the county seat of Duval County, Florida. Duval County is home to 885,855 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[2] Duval County Public Schools is the sixth-largest school district in Florida, serving 125,429 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[3]

Demographics

Duval County underperformed in comparison to the rest of Florida in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 25.6 percent of Duval County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.2 percent for Florida as a whole. The median household income in Duval County was $48,906 compared to $47,309 for the state of Florida. The poverty rate in Duval County was 15.8 percent compared to 15.6 percent for the entire state.[2]

Racial Demographics, 2012[2]
Race Duval County (%) Florida (%)
White 62.5 78.3
Black or African American 29.9 16.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.4 0.5
Asian 4.4 2.7
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 2.6 1.9
Hispanic or Latino 8.1 23.2

Party registration, 2014[4]
Party Number of registered voters
Democratic 232,684
Republican 201,803
Other 116,460
Total 550,947

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[5]

Method of board member selection

The Duval County School Board consists of seven members elected to four-year terms. Each member represents a specific geographic district. There was a general election on August 26, 2014, and the runoff election took place on November 4, 2014, for races where no candidate received 50 percent or more of the general election vote.

Candidates for the school board filed for the election by June 20, 2014. The county's elections office hosted early voting for the general election at various locations from August 16, 2014, to August 23, 2014. The early voting window for the runoff election ran from October 25, 2014, to November 1, 2014. The last day to request a mailed absentee ballot in the general election was August 20, 2014, and the runoff election deadline was October 29, 2014.

Elections

2014

Candidates

[edit]

  • Samuel Hall
    • Former analyst, Anheuser-Busch
  • Scott Shine Green check mark transparent.png
    • Graduate, Virginia Commonwealth University
    • Political and business consultant
    • Member, Jacksonville Waterways Commission

Candidates defeated in the general election:

  • Theresa Graham
    • Graduate, Florida Community College and Logos University Jacksonville
    • Realtor
  • Shannon Russell
    • Graduate, Central Michigan University
    • High school teacher in district

  • Paula D. Wright Green check mark transparent.png
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Jacksonville University
    • Former radio show host and educator
  • Darryl Willie
    • Graduate, North Carolina State University and University of Georgia
    • Community partnership director, Teach for America

Note: Bradford Hall initially filed for the District 4 primary but withdrew from the race on June 18, 2014.

  • Becki Couch Green check mark transparent.png
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, University of North Florida
    • Former high school teacher

Election results

Runoff election
District 2
Duval County Public Schools, District 2 Runoff Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngScott Shine 57.7% 20,778
     Nonpartisan Samuel Hall 42.3% 15,260
Total Votes 36,038
Source: Duval County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 General Election Unofficial Results," accessed November 4, 2014 These results are unofficial and will be updated when certified results are available.
General election
District 2
Duval County Public Schools, District 2 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngScott Shine 45.8% 5,788
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSamuel Hall 19.4% 2,449
     Nonpartisan Theresa Graham 19.3% 2,445
     Nonpartisan Shannon Russell 15.5% 1,965
Total Votes 12,647
Source: Duval County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 Primary Election Official Results," accessed September 10, 2014
District 4
Duval County Public Schools, District 4 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngPaula D. Wright Incumbent 53.3% 6,111
     Nonpartisan Darryl Willie 46.7% 5,353
Total Votes 11,464
Source: Duval County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 Primary Election Official Results," accessed September 10, 2014
District 6

Becki Couch was unopposed in her bid to retain the District 6 seat.

Endorsements

Scott Shine earned endorsements from current District 2 member Fred Lee, District 7 member Jason Fischer and previous District 2 members Nancy Broner and Susan Wilkinson.[6] Shannon Russell received endorsements from Duval Teachers United, the North Florida Central Labor Council and the Adjunct Faculty Union.[7]

Campaign finance

Candidates received a total of $227,934.03 and spent a total of $166,779.78 as of October 28, 2014, according to the Duval County Supervisor of Elections.[8]

District 2

In the District 2 race, candidates raised a total of $103,415.99 and spent a total of $65,988.86.

Candidate Monetary
contributions
In-kind
contributions
Expenditures Cash on hand
Theresa Graham $2,077.00 $0.00 $1,675.44 $401.56
Samuel Hall $13,076.00 $1,774.56 $12,542.38 $533.62
Shannon Russell $3,858.83 $800.00 $3,354.19 $504.64
Scott Shine $81,280.00 $549.60 $48,416.85 $32,863.15
District 4

In the District 4 race, candidates raised a total of $96,165.36 and spent a total of $72,980.92.

Candidate Monetary
contributions
In-kind
contributions
Expenditures Cash on hand
Bradford Hall $2,911.00 $130.00 $2,911.00 $0.00
Darryl Willie $55,170.71 $272.79 $44,813.95 $10,356.76
Paula D. Wright $31,939.61 $5,741.25 $25,255.97 $6,683.64
District 6

In the District 6 race, unopposed candidate Becki Couch raised a total of $28,352.68 and spent a total of $27,810.00.

Candidate Monetary
contributions
In-kind
contributions
Expenditures Cash on hand
Becki Couch $27,810.00 $542.68 $27,810.00 $0.00

Past elections

What was at stake?

Issues in the district

Firing, suspension of district teachers

School board members voted unanimously during a July 1, 2014, meeting to fire Julie Bennett and suspend Courtney Spruill from their teaching positions due to separate disciplinary issues. Bennett, a sixth-grade history teacher at Fletcher Middle School, was fired for making fun of a student's weight in February 2014. Her disciplinary record dated back to 2003 with reprimands and fines in 2005, 2012 and 2013 for volatile behavior, leaving students unattended and insulting students.[9]

Spruill, a physical education teacher at Kernan Middle School, was suspended for 15 days for showing poor judgement when dealing with students. She was accused of attending a party for the school's soccer team where she received a lap dance, drank alcohol and demonstrated a sexually suggestive dance known as twerking. The host of the party noted that Spruill brought vodka as a house-warming gift but did not drink alcohol around students. The board concluded that there was enough evidence to warrant the suspension, including a video of Spruill dancing with students.[9]

State investigation of special education programs

The Florida Department of Education issued a report in July 2014 showing that the district violated federal laws guaranteeing "free and appropriate education" for students with disabilities. A complaint was lodged against the district's Exceptional Student Education (ESE) program by advocacy group Disability Rights Florida in April 2014. The group received reports from district parents that students with disabilities were not receiving sufficient assistance in reading and math courses. State investigators found that 53 out of the 93 individualized education plans at 18 district schools were not compliant with state or federal education laws. The investigation determined that some teachers were unable to provide additional assistance because they were assigned to proctor state assessments. The state report also found confusion between ESE teachers and principals about requests for substitutes during teacher absences. District schools are required to revise their approach to ESE courses by September 1, 2014, with reports on student progress due by October 1, 2014, and December 15, 2014.[10]

Mixed results of 2013-2014 state grades

Duval County Public Schools experienced an increase in schools receiving failing grades from the Florida Department of Education, according to the state's 2013-2014 report on academic performance. Twenty-two schools in the district were considered failing by state standards in 2013-2014 compared to 11 schools during the 2012-2013 school year. The district also received A grades for 32 schools and four schools moved up three letter grades compared to the previous year. The state's annual grading system is based on student test scores and faces scrutiny from parents, teachers and education advocates concerned about a heavy focus on standardized testing.[11]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the school board election in 2014:[12]

Deadline Event
June 20, 2014 Last day of candidate filing period
August 16, 2014 First day of early voting in general election
August 20, 2014 Last day to request mailed absentee ballot for general election
August 23, 2014 Last day of early voting in general election
August 26, 2014 General election day
October 25, 2014 First day of early voting in runoff election
October 29, 2014 Last day to request mailed absentee ballot for runoff election
November 1, 2014 Last day of early voting in runoff election
November 4, 2014 Runoff election day

Additional elections on the ballot

See also: Florida elections, 2014

Area residents voted on county and statewide races on November 4, 2014. Residents of Duval County voted on races for county judge and soil and water conservation district seats. The November 4, 2014, ballot included races for state legislature, state executive and U.S. House seats.

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References