Ten Dollar Tuesday – Josh Katz for Orange County School Board

Last week, I highlighted the bitter battle that is going to take place in the Senate and the importance of throwing support behind Judithanne McLauchlan because a veto-proof Republican majority in the Senate will be disastrous all around.  This week I am going to go in another direction and instead just highlight a school board race in Orange County that has no state-wide implications and no huge relevance to the overall political landscape, yet shows off the importance of getting people involved in the political process.

For every ten candidates I meet who want to run for Congress as their first race, for every dozen lawyers who believes that they can walk into the state house on their first try, I wish I could meet just one good school board candidate who had the resources to win.   School Board officers are such an important public office and they have incredible power of local school districts, yet for the most part they are considered un-glamorous and for the most part not considered as part of the vital ladder to political power.   This is a shame and is part of the reason that public education lies in such disarray.   Around the state, the Republican mind-set of anti-government and anti-public education dominates local school boards, openly working to dismantle public education and in some cases, such as Clay County, openly push their own agendas.

This has got to be a focus of progressive politics in Florida: ensuring that local school boards are composed of people who understand the issues at stake.  Education public policy is a great place to groom candidates and the perfect place to learn how to campaign.

Every now and then, you just meet someone that has genuine good ideas that should be included in policy discussions. Last month, Josh Katz started popping up in my news feed with his Ted Talk titled “The Toxic Culture of Eduction”.  I admit, I was impressed and I thought about a lot of what he said.  While most of the information were things I already knew, he clearly has a talent for communication and presented them in a way that made them seem like common sense.  Then I got the news that this guy is running for School Board for Orange county and I, as many other fans, was genuinely excited.   His campaign is barely two weeks old, so he doesn’t even have a website up, but now would be a great time to help him get started.  This is a perfect example of the type of people you need on a school board.  Hopefully as his campaign takes shape he can get his message out and he is going to need money to do that.  You can donate via Paypal on his Facebook page.

Keep an eye on this one.   Listen to the talk.  His Twitter.  His Facebook.  Watch the Ted Talk.   Read the Orlando Sentinel Article.   This is the kind of person you need on the school board.   You should give him $10 and hope that one day he makes it to the Florida Legislature.  That is how candidate recruitment works – find them, support them, and think long-term.   With term limits,  you have to start planting seeds early so that you can build a bench.



  1. floridian · ·

    This guy is genuine. A $10 donation is money well spent. Go, Josh!


  2. RozOdell · ·

    You should really check out Thomas Kennedy in Citrus County, in district 1. He makes all of the other School Board Candidates look like just title holders. From visiting at least one school a day to most student knowing on first sight by name. Worth mentioning.


  3. Tim Adams · ·

    Will Contribute…

    Thank you.


  4. Josh has a website now for donations – http://www.joshuakatzforschoolboard.com/


  5. […] Orange County, Josh Katz is the rising star to watch.   We featured him on Ten Dollar Tuesday and his TED talk has gotten him fans around the country.  A great addition to the local pool of […]


%d bloggers like this: