Early Voting is underway

Early voting opens today at 4 locations:

Bradenton Conv Ctr – 1 Haben Blvd Palmetto 34221
LWR Town Hall – 8175 LWR Blvd 34202
Rocky Bluff Library – 6750 US Hwy 301 Ellenton 34222
Supervisor of Elections – 600 301 Blvd W Bradenton 34205
     early voting MAP



Candidate response to the BH

While disappointed that I didn’t receive the endorsement of the Herald, I appreciate the opportunity to address Manatee County voters.

As an educator, I’ve taught diverse populations and through this experience I have gained insight into “best practices”.  My skills and creativity translate into innovative ideas for continuing the improvements we’ve seen over the last 18 months.

I have run a grassroots, independent campaign that is funded and supported by family, friends and colleagues.  My campaign carries on Barbara Harvey’s legacy of independence and advocacy for our most precious resource, our youth.

My opponent has a long and admirable record of community service and serving youth that deserves respect.  However, his belief that “teaching is not community service” is troubling for someone that wants your vote for School Board.  Teaching is intertwined with the idea of community.

I ask you, as the educator and coach that I am, to complete a short homework task before you vote.  Please view the Bradenton Herald/METV forum and briefly review our websites to compare our platforms.  My site is www.charliekennedy.org and my opponent’s is:  http://democracy.com/voterodneyjones/.

Ask yourself: Which candidate talks about specific ideas, big and small, for the future of our schools?   Which candidate acknowledges the contributions of others?  Which candidate has 10 years of experience as an educator with a personal understanding of the needs of students, parents, teachers and support staff?  In the interest of transparency, I have posted every questionnaire, opinion and idea during this campaign.  Voters should know where I stand, even if they disagree with me, to make an informed choice.

Voters, please complete your homework assignment and go to the polls making an informed choice, for whomever you decide is the best candidate to serve the 45,000 students and 5,500 employees of the Manatee County School District.   Thank you.


METV/Herald Tribune Forum

90 minutes of 7 school board candidates sharing their opinions and ideas.


METV/Bradenton Herald Forum

Questions and time stamps of my responses are below the video. Thanks for taking the time to watch our candidate forum.

Opening statements: 3:48 – 5:14

“What skills and experience would you bring to the school board and education leadership?” 5:24 – 7:30

“Concerns over spending priorities and practices in the district have been mounting for years. As such, public trust taken a beating for a long time with budget deficits and wrongful spending. How can you as a board member continue the task of rebuilding public trust that has begun under the new administration?” 12:04 – 14:02

“The budget for the next year looks bright, brighter than in years past, with the draft plan reaching the state-required reserve minimum. What are your thoughts on this budget and future district spending? 14:14 – 15:49

“What are your views of the academic progress in test scores and school grades and what do you propose to improve education? 20:22 – 21:48

“What are you thoughts on Common Core and the implementation of that program in Manatee County schools?” 22:04 – 23:20

“Is Supt. Rick Mills and his administrative team leading the district in the right direction? And what would you do different, if anything?” 27:41 – 29:48

“What concerns do you hold about the current direction of the school board and direction should it take under your stewardship?” 30:00 – 31:12

rebuttal to response – 33:22 – 34:33

“What specifically would you do to boost teacher morale?” 34:50 – 35:57

closing statements 37:28 – 38:55

rebuttal to Mr. Jones closing remarks 41:00 – 42:19

Top Tweet Aug 11

Top Tweet Aug 5

Saving Millions on Health Care

Teachers, would you like to be healthier, happier and have more money in your paycheck?    re: Health insurance policy for school district…. at last night’s budget workshop, I asked the board to consider the idea of not only being self-insured, but also self-administering our own health plan for employees.It would be a long-term project, and would require the help of a Citizens Advisory Group of local experts. However, we could save millions of dollars per year by cutting out Blue Cross/Blue Shield – who we pay tons of money to for admin’ing our claims and for the use of their doctor network. Those millions saved would mean lower premiums for school employees, which would mean more money in our paychecks.It’s a big idea, with many moving parts and details to explore, but it’s time to think long-term about faculty/staff pay and benefits – and how to improve them.Mr. Gause, later in the workshop, requested the Health Insurance Committee contact all board members, as had previously been requested, and Supt. Mills said he would make sure that happened.   – https://www.facebook.com/charliekennedy2014