FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — In Broward, voters countywide voted for two, at-large School Board members, as well as for three district seats.
Many of the candidates criticized the FCAT and stressed the need for Broward schools to improve “customer service” and make it easier for parents to get involved.
COUNTYWIDE SCHOOL BOARD SEATS:
In District 8, incumbent Donna Korn faced off against state Rep. Franklin Sands, D-Weston and retired school administrator Andrew Luciani, who boasted a long history as a schools administrator, including serving as superintendent in suburban New Jersey.
With 100 percent of the precincts in, Korn narrowly defeated Sands by a 39-38 percent margin with Luciani pulling in 23 percent of the vote.
In District 9, incumbent Robin Bartleman was challenged by endodontist Bill Barkins and retired school administrator Barbara Wilson.
Bartleman has been on the board since 2004. Her challengers accused her of failing to stop the districts recent rash of corruption and inefficiency. Two board members were arrested in recent years on bribery charges, and a 2011 grand jury report blasted the School Board for putting special interests before students.
Bartleman defends her track record, and says she confronted the board’s failings by strongly advocating for stronger ethics rules.
And with all but one precinct counted, Bartleman won 45 percent of the vote to Wilson’s 37 percent and Barkins’ 17 percent.
In District 3, Katherine “Katie” Leach kept the job she was appointed to last year just as the district was reeling from the findings of that critical grand jury report.
Leach was challenged by former district building inspector C. Rebecca “Becky” Blackwood and social studies teacher Michael Levinson.
With 134 of 135 precincts in, Leach won 59 percent of the vote to Levinson’s 26 percent and Blackwood’s 15 percent.
The district includes portions of Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Oakland Park and Wilton Manors.
Candidates for District 4 included Abby Freedman, Andrew Ladanowski, Robert “Bob” Mayersohn, Rochelle “Shelly” Solomon and Nick Steffens.
After the votes were tabulated, Freedman won 37 percent of the vote compared to her nearest competitor, Solomon’s 22 percent.
Whoever wins is set to be the fourth person to hold the position in three years. The instability began after Stephanie Kraft was arrested on corruption charges. Her replacement resigned for family reasons, and the next replacement, Donna Korn, is running for a countywide School Board post.
The results mean the race will likely go to a runoff between the top two finishers in November.
Finally, the candidates for District 5 were Torey Alston, Christopher Hugley Sr., Ruth Lynch, Grover Monroe, and Rosalind Osgood.
After the votes were cast, Osgood won 48 percent of the vote to the nearest competitor, Alston, who took 29 percent.
District 5 includes some of Broward’s poorest neighborhood and the candidates stress the need to spread the district’s resources more fairly and get parents more involved in their schools.
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