Still A Push For Jacksonville School Board Election Changes

117A vote earlier this month on whether or not Jacksonville should change the way it elects school board members failed. But supporters of the measure say they’re not giving up. The city currently elects school board members at large.

Emily Ralph is the campaign manager for a political action committee that’s hoping to bring ward-based voting to Jacksonville. She says the committee will fight to have the issue put on the November ballot. Ralph recently spoke with WUIS’ Rachel Otwell:

Ralph says that the north side of Jacksonville is not represented on the school board as it should be – and that subdistricts would ensure all areas of the city have a voice on the board. She says it’s also a matter of getting more minorities on the board. But the referendum failed by about 450 votes. Ralph says she hopes the issue will again be put to voters on the November ballot, though she’s wary of whether or not there will be enough support for ward-based voting:

RALPH: “I think that the opposition will organize and I think that it will be very difficult once the opposition organizes. Although we lost by 450 votes – we know November is a much higher turn-out election.”

Some Jacksonville residents say the public needs to be more involved in the school board and a ward-based system alone will not increase meaningful representation of minority communities.

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