Sarasota County, FL - Board of Elections

Candidate Statement

Shirley Brown

Shirley Brown is one of Sarasota County’s most trusted and experienced elected officials. She served in the Florida Legislature from 1992-2000 and was elected to the school board in 2006.

“We have an A-rated school district with outstanding arts and music programs and leading-edge technology in all of our schools, thanks to careful budgeting and exciting community partnerships,” Brown said. “I want to continue to build on this; it’s a ‘win-win-win’ for our students, taxpayers and community.”

Brown says she ran for the school board in 2006 to bring stability and leadership to the school board. We had six superintendents in as many years and staff morale and public confidence were down.

During her tenure, the School Board has:
-- Appointed and retained Schools Superintendent Lori White, a former graduate, teacher and administrator for Sarasota schools, who has earned numerous accolades from board members and the public for her leadership.

-- Saved more than $100 million by using bonds to take advantage of low interest and dropping construction costs.

-- Expanded Sarasota County Technical Institute with new programs at its existing Beneva Rd and expects to have a new south county campus In North Port completed by 2016-17

-- Kept painful budget cuts away from the classroom while preserving art and music programs

As a former legislator, Brown fully understands the complicated state funding formula for our schools and can spot the shell games sometimes played. “I know that outside forces are pulling legislative strings in Tallahassee to divert funds from public schools,” Brown said. As a member of the Florida School Boards Assn. she has frequently pushed for more local control for school districts and has received Master Board certification through them in 2007.

While a state representative from 1992 to 2000, Brown chaired the Business Regulation subcommittee and the Women’s Legislative Caucus. Brown helped pass sweeping changes to laws to protect women, children and families from domestic violence and sexual abuse and has recently been appointed to the board of the local Spouse Abuse and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC).

Brown was named Outstanding First-Term Legislator in 1993 by the Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association. “Education has always been central to my work,” Brown said. “My children, and now my grandchildren, attend Sarasota County public schools. I want to know they are getting an “A” rated education. As a business and property owner myself, I promise to invest our tax dollars wisely and that we use our funds to prepare our students for the work force or further educational opportunities that will await them when they graduate.”

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Who’s Who of Women in Politics
Girl's Inc. - She Knows Where She’s Going
National Council of Jewish Women - Woman in Power
Florida Arts PAC- Cultural Advocacy Award
Florida Women’s Political Caucus - Outstanding First Term Legislator
Florida Chamber of Commerce Biz Award
Legislator of the Year – Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association,
Florida Network on Youth and Family Services, and others

Florida School Boards Assn.
Florida Consortium of School Boards
Sarasota County School Board chair 2009-2010
State Coordinating Council for Early Childhood Services
State Task Force on Juvenile Sex Offenders and their Victims
Sarasota Chamber’s Leadership Sarasota, Class of 1998
Sarasota Newcomers Club – Founding President
Church of the Palms, Shepherding Deacon
Spouse Abuse and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC), Board
Tobacco Free Partnership, Chair
Sarasota Tiger Bay
League of Women Voters
Arts Alliance of Sarasota
Sierra Club