NPE Action endorses Liz Barker for School Board, District 2, Sarasota, Florida.

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The Network for Public Education Action is proud to endorse Liz Barker for School Board, District 2, in Sarasota, FL. Liz is a former school psychologist and active parent to four children attending Sarasota County Public Schools. She understands the needs of the students, families, and teachers. Liz told NPE Action she is running for School Board to ensure that Sarasota’s priorities fit the needs of schools in Sarasota. Liz is currently the president of the PTO and member of the School Advisory Committee at her children’s elementary school. She is a member of the National Association of School Psychologists and served as the parent representative for the K-8 Math Textbook Adoption Committee for Sarasota County Schools.

Liz told NPE Action that her campaign message is Community Over Chaos. Liz explained, “radical political activists have wreaked havoc on Sarasota public schools, promoting censorship, pushing privatization, and instilling a climate of fear.” Liz feels it’s time to restore trust and remove extremists from the Sarasota board. As a former public school psychologist, Liz spent my career ensuring safe, healthy, and effective learning environments for every student. Liz explained her top priority is improving the climate for Sarasota educators. In addition to not being paid fairly, Liz noted they are being ridiculed, suspected of indoctrinating students and threatened by lawsuits. Liz explained that fearful teachers are not effective instructors.

To improve public education Liz shared that access to pre-K programs (in Florida, VPK) will have enormous effects for the rest of a student’s academic career. Liz said, “I would support efforts to create more VPK programs at more public schools, with longer hours to make them accessible to the families who need them most.” Liz would strengthen mental health supports in Sarasota schools. Liz also believes that high-stakes testing does not serve students or educators. She feels that district should only be testing often enough to know our students are
learning what they need to.

When it comes to education vouchers Liz told NPE, “ Given the irrefutably negative impacts of vouchers on student achievement, I am incredibly concerned that Florida recently passed funding for universal vouchers. Families deserve to know the truth about vouchers when making educational decisions.” Liz knows that public education is under attack in the state of Florida and in Sarasota County. She feels the implementation of universal vouchers is siphoning money from public school budgets and putting it into private schools. Censorship and a climate of fear is making it even more difficult for teachers to do their jobs. Anti-LGTQ legislation and local board’s anti-mental health messaging has led our students to feel unsafe in their classroom environments. Liz strongly feels that strong student-centered leadership and good governance at the local level is critical to protect our public schools.

NPE Action urges Sarasota citizens to get out the vote in the Primary Election for Liz Barker on August 8, 2024.

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee. Authorized and paid for by Network for Public Education Action, PO Box 227. New York, NY 10156. 646-678-4477.