JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Duval County school board is welcoming its newest chairman and vice chairwoman.
Former city council president, Warren Jones, and Elizabeth Anderson were sworn on Tuesday. The ceremony officially marked the start of Jones' tenure as school board chairman, replacing outgoing school board chair, Lori Hershey.
Both Jones and Anderson have shown support for the school board’s plan to put the half-cent sales tax on the ballot and replace the district’s aging schools.
Despite several polls showing widespread support from voters, the bill to put the measure on the ballot was withdrawn in August. Nov. 10 came and went with no sales tax vote.
The issue has proved to be, at times, tense with the city council.
In July, Jones spoke passionately during the debate over including charter schools in the revenue received by the tax.
“We’re asking for them to allow the voters to weigh in to allow for a half-penny sales tax so we can improve the schools," Jones said. "We have over 100,000 students in traditional public schools today and yet this council is holding us, hostage, because we have not agreed to give $200 million to charter schools upfront.”
The school board later gave the green light to include charter school money if the sale tax is approved by voters.
There is currently a battle over whether the school board has the right to hire its own legal counsel.