Was Florida Sunshine Law violated during Seminole County Public Schools’ hiring process of the current superintendent? We believe it was.
By Seminole County Alliance for Responsible Government
If you are a parent, a grandparent or know a child who was, is now, or will be in a public school in Seminole County, then this question is important to you! When the Seminole County school board members hired a qualified Superintendent in February 2021 and then rescinded that hiring to put their own attorney in the position, your tax dollars were abused.
1). The Superintendent of Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) is the largest employer in Seminole County. Putting someone who has never managed more than 5 employees or a budget of any substantial size in charge of approximately 10,000 employees, and an annual billion-dollar budget, is gross negligence. We believe undue pressure was put on at least one school board member by a conduit between board members. This is a violation of Sunshine Law. The citizens and students of Seminole County were the ones who have been impacted by this violation. Because of these actions, we now have an unqualified Superintendent in charge of Seminole County’s largest employer.
2). Students in Seminole County schools have always benefitted from having highly qualified and recognized educators as superintendents to lead their teachers and administrators. That is the primary reason we became a premier school district in Central Florida and throughout the state. Many people bought homes and established businesses in our county based on our school district’s reputation. To deceive the citizens, through violation of Sunshine Law during the hiring of one of the most important positions in the county, is a major travesty of justice.
3). To be sure, our new superintendent is an educated attorney. However, would you want a teacher or principal to fight a legal battle for you in court? We wouldn’t. Teachers are not trained to win in court; lawyers are not trained to successfully manage classrooms or schools or a whole district.
We are asking for an investigation into the hiring process and the rescind vote that occurred February 23, 2021. This includes all communications surrounding this process after the initial vote on February 9th, until the vote to hire the attorney on March 1st.
The citizens of Seminole County deserve to know the truth. We deserve to know exactly what happened and why it happened. The school board has been asked this week to form a committee to investigate this matter. They are currently advertising a position for an ombudsman. Will this ombudsman be conducting an impartial investigation into alleged Sunshine Law violations last February?
Just because 11 months have passed since these illegalities began, some may think it’s “over and done with”. However, it’s never too late to correct wrong-doing.
That is why we need voices to be loud and clear that our students and teachers deserve an experienced administrator with educational training and experience at the helm of our school system. Speak up at the school board meetings and on social media. Write letters to ask for an investigation.
If we let the school board members violate Sunshine Law for such an important issue as hiring for one of the top paid positions in Seminole County, we are letting our children and grandchildren down!
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Seminole County Alliance for Responsible Government has compiled an extensive brief on the illegal hiring of Serita Beamon as Superintendent of Seminole County Public Schools. You can read the brief and learn more about their efforts at saveseminoleschools.com
The goal of Seminole County Alliance for Responsible Government is to preserve the premier reputation of Seminole County Public Schools by ensuring a highly qualified educational professional with executive administrative experience is at the helm.