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Partisan school board elections; the push for abortion and marijuana on the ballot; weekly news roundup

A bilingual voting sign outside a precinct in Texas.
Tamir Kalifa
A bilingual voting sign outside a precinct in Texas.

Partisan school board elections 

Should school board elections be partisan? A proposed constitutional amendment would require school board candidates to be elected in a partisan election. If approved, candidates would be required to list their political party. The amendment must be approved by 60% of voters during the 2024 elections.

First, we hear from a state lawmaker who supports the amendment, and then we speak with a Florida scholar who says school boards should remain nonpartisan.


  • Rep. Spencer Roach, R-North Fort Myers. 
  • Meredith Mountford, associate professor of education leadership at Florida Atlantic University. 

Voters may decide on abortion and recreational marijuana in 2024 

Limiting abortion restrictions and allowing the recreational use of marijuana also may appear on the ballot if they get enough signatures and withstand the inevitable court challenges.

We get an update on the latest signature counts and next steps from two of the organizers behind those efforts, respectively.


  • Sarah Parker, president of Women’s Voices of Southwest Florida. 
  • Steve Vancore, spokesperson for Smart & Safe Florida. 

Weekly news roundup

Florida is home to one of the highest proportions of people at least 65 years old. Almost one out of every five residents are that age or older. Nearly 600,000 of them have Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s care can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, as WLRN’s Veronica Zaragovia reports.

This week, Florida’s surgeon general continued his criticism of COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Joseph Lapado called for health care providers to stop using the most popular COVID-19 vaccines. To help make sense of the announcement and its effect, we turn to WUSF and Health News Florida’s Nancy Guan.

What’s left on your plate after a meal of Florida oysters isn’t garbage. A group in Tampa is taking what normally would be trash and using it to help restore the eastern oyster population in Tampa Bay, as WUSF’s Craig Kopp tells us.

Earlier this year record numbers of sea turtle nests throughout the region thrilled the scientists and volunteers working to save the threatened species. But the joy was fleeting as WGCU’s Tom Bayles explains.