Florida Senate passes school board term limit bill

Florida Capitol Building with sign

On Monday, the Florida Senate passed legislation limiting district school board members to eight-year term limits.  

The new bill, HB 477, came one year after the Legislature passed a law decreasing term limits to 12 years. It would affect two of the School Board of Alachua County (SBAC) members currently serving: SBAC chair Tina Certain and member Leanetta McNealy.  

McNealy’s second term expires in 2024, while Certain’s second term ends in 2026.  

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The other three SBAC members – Diyonne McGraw, Sarah Rockwell and Kay Abbitt – were elected to the board in November. 

SBAC Board Member Tina Certain
Courtesy of Alachua County Public Schools Tina Certain
SBAC Board Member Leanetta McNealy
Courtesy of Alachua County Public Schools Leanetta McNealy

At Monday’s Florida Senate session, the bill was questioned by one senator before going to vote.  

“Didn’t we just do a term limit bill last year and the year before?” Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-Hollywood, asked. “Why are we back here so fast on this?”  
Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, responded to Pizzo saying that eight years was the preferred landing spot. 

“We didn’t get that last year. We’re doing it this year,” said Ingoglia, the bill’s sponsor.  

The Senate voted 30-7 – with five Democrats joining Republicans – to pass HB 477.  

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