Countdown to Election Day! Vote Liz Barker on August 20


On the Issues

We know that effective teachers are the most important factor in student success.  While Sarasota County is able to attract new teachers with a higher than average starting salary, we struggle to retain our experienced teachers.  We must find innovative ways to keep our  educators so that our schools can continue to thrive.  Multiple factors are in play with regard to teacher retention. A compressed salary schedule that does not allow even our most effective and experienced teachers to make more than approximately $70,000 per year, is certainly part of the problem.  Culture wars in our schools, constant attacks on the professionalism of teachers, and the lack of freedom to teach without fear are also affecting the attractiveness of the profession as a whole.

We are tired of divisive politics and distractions that do not serve our children. Schools are not red or blue. As parents we have far more in common than not when it comes to education. We all want our children to have access to high quality public education. We all want board members who are trustworthy and transparent. This community understands that we must refocus on student success and closing the achievement gap.

Parents have the right to decide what books and instructional materials are appropriate for their children without that decision being dictated by another parent. Students have the right to feel safe and respected in their schools. They also have the right to a literacy-rich classroom environment with a wide variety of books. Students deserve a fact-based, fully rounded education that helps them develop critical thinking skills so that they can graduate with the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful.

It’s become readily apparent that not everyone running for and serving on our School Board is doing it because they believe in public education and want the best for our kids.  Too many of our board members have political agendas, and are beholden to the politicians who helped them get elected.  They might run a campaign as an educator, and talk about prioritizing academic achievement, while simultaneously advocating for dangerous ideology and taking money from big developers.  If we continue to allow radical political activists disguised as career educators to make decisions about our children’s schools, we will remain in a loop of chaos and confusion while our children pay the price.

Liz on the Issues

New Year, New Ideas

As we welcome 2024 and my campaign for School Board truly gets into full swing, I have found myself thinking ahead to the work I hope to do once a member of the School Board…

Community Over Chaos

The School Board should be boring. It used to be boring. There was a time very few people, myself included, paid attention to the day-to-day work of the school board. No one felt like they needed to….

Self-Censorship in Schools

Recent events have the issue of self-censorship on my mind. As many of you know, Florida has passed a slate of laws in recent years aimed at limiting what materials students have access to in schools.


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