By: Sharon Aron Baron
After a letter writing campaign by residents asking their school board members to elect Nora Rupert as the next Vice Chair for the Broward County School Board, those wishes were denied this morning and Abby Freedman won the position 5-4.
The vice chair of the school board becomes the chair the next year. They are important because not only do they control the flow of the meeting, nothing gets on the agenda without their approval. Also when they are at events as a group they speak for the board.
After being nominated by Patricia Good, Nora Rupert received the support of Robin Bartleman and Heather Brinkworth.
Ann Murray nominated Abby Freedman and was supported by Donna Korn, Laurie Rich Levinson and Rosalind Osgood.
A letter writing campaign went out after a notice of the upcoming appointment and was posted on Facebook and on Broward Beat. Several school board members accused Nora Rupert for being the instigator of the campaign, possibly leading them to vote against her despite the wishes of residents. However, it is well documented that I am the source and the one who started the campaign, and not Nora who I have had no contact with except when I photographed her at a picnic over Labor Day. Revealed! Source For School Story.
Rupert, elected in 2010, is popular in her district winning over 77 percent of the vote in 2014, however, is not popular with other school board members. She is contentious, and according to Broward Beat is a realist who realizes that the Board shouldn’t let the staff and Runcie do anything they want with public money. She does the job she was elected to do — question whether spending is justified and whether money is being wasted.
Abby, elected in 2012 divided her own district which covers Coral Springs, Parkland, and Tamarac by creating a controversial boundary proposal which threatened to bus Parkland residents out of the city to Deerfield Beech schools. This caused rallies and issues in her own district and she was even chastised by her own fellow board members for this and for not leaving the boundary process up to those that are hired to do so.
However, one year later, she was reelected by 651 votes, but she lost the trust of those in her own hometown who did not vote for her.