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Sarasota will pay for school board redistricting amid a hiring freeze

School board member Karen Rose at podium in black jacket
SCREENSHOT: Sarasota County Schools
The idea to redraw the maps was first put forward by Karen Rose, who is running for her seat in 2024.

School board chair Bridget Ziegler voted against the move to spend $40,000 to redraw the maps, saying she was "indifferent." Board member Tom Edwards questioned the need for the costly expenditure.

Ahead of the 2024 election, Sarasota's school board on Tuesday voted to redraw district maps at a cost of around $40,000.

The move came just days after the superintendent announced a hiring freeze as revenue plunges due to the state's voucher expansion.

The new map was approved in a 3-2 vote Tuesday.

Board member Tom Edwards voted no, and pointed out that the consultant's fee of nearly $40,000 would not amount to the final number, as legal fees would have to be added.

"I found this to be fiscally irresponsible. I found it to be of no concern to academic achievement, reading scores, all of the things we claim to be focused in on," Edwards said.

Board chair Bridget Ziegler also voted against, saying she was "indifferent."

The idea first came from board member Karen Rose, who is running for re-election to her seat in 2024, in September.

The redrawn map does not affect next year's school board race between Rose and her challenger, Liz Barker.

It aligns the school board districts with the county commission districts.

Last week the Sarasota school district announced a hiring freeze, due to declining enrollment from the state's private school voucher expansion.

I cover health and K-12 education – two topics that have overlapped a lot since the pandemic began.
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