Jason Fischer ran for soil and water and lost before he discovered his passion for education and ran for school board.
While running he presented himself as a Navy veteran, he wasn’t and had to backtrack those assertions.
He arguably barely won by getting the endorsement of Jeb Bush, yes that Jeb Bush, turning what was supposed to be a non partisan race into a very partisan one.
While on the school board he was generally considered by his peers unprepared and antagonistic. If I was Mr. Marcus, his democratic opponent for SH 16 I would ask all the school board members he worked with for a comment and their endorsement. It’s my bet not one except for Scott Shine would support Fischer.
He quit the school board to run for the house where he again narrowly won against Dick Kravitz by a thousand votes. There was no democratic opponent that year, which means just 11k Fischer voters chose the rep for the 120k people who live in District 16.
While in the house he took a job with John Kirtley the states voucher king, often championing voucher legislation but never recusing himself from legislation that would benefit his employer.
He also, after getting tens of thousands in donations from his super donor Gary Chartrand, inserted millions into the budget for Chartrand’s charter school. MILLIONS EXTRA! The school is not in his district and I doubt one kid that goes there lives in his district too.
Speaking of charter schools, you would be hard pressed to find another state politician who has taken more money from charters and not coincidentally, there hasn’t been any pro charter school or anti public school legislation he hasn’t supported.
Also after Vitti left, the district had to dip into its reverses, and even though it never went below what was statutorily required, Fischer called for an audit of their budget (his request was rejected), implying the district was irresponsible. That may be the definition of chutzpah because he both championed for Vitti and voted for the last budget. It’s safe to say he has taken every opportunity, sorry manufactured opportunity, to attack the district he can.
Then that takes us to his infamous J1 bill. His first version called for an appointed school board but when Mayor Curry, also the recipient of over 6 figures from Gary Chartrand said he preferred an elected superintendent, Fischer promptly flip flopped.
This also all happened as Chartrand used all his influence to fight against a special referendum, to fix the districts aging infrastructure.
Some things about an elected super. Mississippi, yes that Mississippi, recently said it was a bad idea leaving only Florida and Alabama with the option. In Florida and Alabama most districts have still gone with an appointed super and in Florida 90 percent of children go to schools with an appointed super.
The school board and city council could both ask for a referendum to have an elected superintendent, but have declined to do so, and when a white man was super and he was on the board, he never suggested the idea but now that we have a black woman who has arguably performed very well, he can’t have it happen quick enough.
He may claim it’s about giving people a choice, but its not, its about inserting politics into choosing who runs our schools, with him betting his guy can buy the race.
Fischer has not been a good representative, neither on the school board nor in the house, I mean for regular folks, because for a handful of super donors and special interests he has been all they could have dreamed on and more, but he is the one wearing the tin foil hat if he doesn’t think people know it.