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Largely Self-Funded School Board Candidate Too Liberal For Seminole County

rich sloane, jeff bauer, diane bauer, seminole county public schools, seminole county school board, charlie crist, geraldine thompson, common core, common core florida, seminole county post, seminole county news, news seminole county, jacob engels,

Seminole County School Board candidate Rich Sloane has close ties to unions, will not say whether or not he is for or against Common Core and has donated to far-left Democratic State Senator Geraldine Thompson.

 

By Jacob Engels

 

Since the passing of the admired and respected Diane Bauer in October 2013, the Seminole County School Board has been absent a true servant-leader and well-regarded reformer. Mrs. Bauer helped develop local schools into the best in Central Florida and top tier competitors on the state and national level. In the primary, we endorsed her son Jeff Bauer - who seeks to carry on his mother's legacy. While we are not normally impressed or interested in "legacy building" or keeping elected offices "in the family," we came to realize that Jeff Bauer is an educational powerhouse in his own right - not needing a famous name as a reason and impetus for voters’ support.

 

He is the chairman of the Seminole County Early Learning Coalition, the group tasked with managing implementation of the Constitutionally-guaranteed mandatory Pre-K program. He is also a trustee of Seminole State College, where, as an alum, he has done an admirable job of balancing the needs of students and faculty. Mr. Bauer was elected countywide in 2006 to the Seminole County Soil and Water Conservation District, where he served for four years before not seeking reelection. He is a member of the Florida Early Learning Council and the Foundation for Seminole State College.

 

He's also a servant and leader for the Republican Party, where he was President of the Seminole County Young Republicans and is currently Vice-Chairman of the Seminole County Republican Executive Committee.

 

Less can be said about his opponent Rich Sloane, who advanced with Bauer past a third candidate in the August 24th primary election. Sloane works in the administrative offices at the University of Central Florida's College of Education and volunteers for the Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools. Frankly, Sloane's candidacy is one of the oddest campaigns we've seen in Seminole County this year. Sloane, a registered Republican has actively courted and received support from labor and teacher unions. He has loaned his campaign nearly $50,000, and has donated to incumbent Democratic State Senator Geraldine Thompson, who is being challenged by a well-liked Hispanic Republican, Edward DeAguilera. He's also donated to former Governor Charlie Crist.

 

With Sloane supporting people like Geraldine Thompson and Charlie Crist, voters have to wonder whether or not he takes his duties as a precinct committeeman for the Seminole County Republican Party seriously and if he will be supporting other Democratic candidates on November 4th. Sloane is being supported by liberal Seminole County School Board Superintendent Bill Vogel, Democratic State Representative Karen Castor-Dentel, the AFL/CIO, the Seminole and Florida Teacher's unions, and was just endorsed by the Seminole County Democratic Party.

 

But Sloane isn't just upsetting the Republican Party in Seminole County. He's also angering educators, teachers, and parents who are unsure of where he stands on important issues like school choice, merit-based pay, and implementing Common Core in Seminole County Public Schools.

 

In a 2013 op-ed posted by the University of Central Florida, Sloane applauded Barack Obama's Education Secretary Arne Duncan and had this to say in support of Common Core.

 

"Common Core too tough for your kids? Give me a break. This country was founded on squishing like bugs those challenges deemed “too tough.” If we don’t raise the bar, the bar will fall and crush us like an anorexic weightlifter." That same year Sloane participated in a Seminole County Republican Party debate about a resolution opposing the Common Core testing initiative that had already been adopted by the Republican Party of Florida and the Republican National Committee. Former school board member Diane Bauer spoke against Common Core and Rich Sloane spoke in favor of it.

 

Sanford resident Tamika Washington offered this analysis of the two candidates in the race for School Board. "I want to thank Jeff Bauer for supporting the Step Up voucher program. My son was in a D rated school in Sanford, but now I get to use that voucher to put him in Catholic school. I'm a single Mom without child support. Jeff Bauer trusted that I should be in charge of making the choice of how to educate my child. I'm concerned Rich Sloane is beholden to the unions who recently sued over the voucher program."

 

A recent examination of his campaign platform hosted on his website show that Sloane has expanded his public stance on some issues after being called out by the Seminole County Post regarding his lack of an in-depth explanation of where he stands on issues affecting Seminole County Schools - but this expanded view still does not paint the full picture for voters. When asked if he supported Common Core, Sloane said he was not in favor of it.

 

"I don't support additional testing for children," explained Sloane.

 

But which Rich Sloane will be making decisions if elected to the school board? The one who supports Common Core or the one who doesn't? Longwood resident Rodrigo Sanchez said he is concerned about Sloane's views on Common Core. "He is a wealthy man, but my family has limited choices. I don't think my child is getting the education he needs because of the Common Core curriculum," Sanchez told the Seminole County Post.

 

Seminole County seems to have more questions than answers when it comes to the candidacy of Mr. Sloane. Will he counsel the far-left (State Senator Geraldine Thompson, Unions) if elected to the school board? Or will he listen to educators, parents, and students?

 

Look, I've heard from many people that Rich Sloane is a nice guy. But are voters in Seminole County ready for someone like Sloane who turns his back on the Republican Party, is mum about his intentions with Common Core, and who was recently endorsed by the Seminole County Democratic Party?

 

"I am shocked, that Rich Sloane donated to my opponent while being a current member of the Seminole County Republican Party. Geraldine Thompson has never seen a tax that she did not like. She is a far-left State Senator. I could have used the donation as a valid Republican. This tells me Sloane is a liberal," said Edward DeAuguilera.

 

Constituents looking for a candidate of whom they know very little to nothing about where they stand on the issues should vote for Rich Sloane and Charlie Crist in the Governor's race. Those looking for someone who will not be a backbench wildcard should vote for Jeff Bauer. Bauer, unlike Sloane, is a staunch opponent of Common Core, a strong supporter of merit based pay, and a well-known penny pincher like his mom. Diane Bauer might be gone, but the opportunity to continue her legacy of reform and achievement for Seminole County's children lives on in her son Jeff. He's not just keeping the seat "in the family" - he's actively campaigning and promising to help continue giving your family a top-rate school system to educate your children to compete in a global economy. He's already changed lives for many children in Seminole County and now it's time he continue that work as a member of the school board.

 

That's why we endorse Jeff Bauer for Seminole County School Board in District 1.

 

 

Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at [email protected]

 

 

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