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Sarasota County School Board District 4: Robyn Marinelli

Meet the candidate.

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Explain what you believe to be the fundamental role of government.

To protect its citizens.


Explain what you believe to be the role of the school board.

To educate the students of Sarasota County and prepare them for gainful employment or post-secondary education after high school graduation.

When you are legislating and creating policies, which of the following would take precedence over the other: the individual or the collective “common good”? Why?

Both are important, especially in the field of education. Thinking narrowly in the education space, I would pursue policies that are inclusive of the common good, but not so specific that we can’t meet the individual needs of students. I view technology as our friend in this realm and will fight for all our students.

Why are you running for office?

I spent 40 years working in education, 35 of those years here in Sarasota. I dedicated my life’s work to helping students succeed and am proud of what I accomplished.  

Sadly, our schools have been slipping in the past few years, and I believe our policy makers are at blame. The politicians on the school board prioritized scoring political points on our governor ahead of improving test scores; as a result, students have lost the most. 

I know we can fix this and will get to work on Day One putting students first, giving parents a seat at the table and restoring accountability to the Sarasota School Board.

What distinguishes you from your opponent that makes you a better candidate?

I spent my entire career in education working with students and parents of all walks of life and helping them succeed. My opponent, while credentialed with advanced degrees, has no classroom experience and is unprepared to solve the academic challenges that face our students.


What experience do you have that would convince voters you would be a good steward and monitor of taxpayer dollars?

I’ve been a taxpayer in this community for 42 years and am fiscally conservative. I’ll keep a watchful eye on the bottom line and protect your tax dollars.


If elected, what will be your guiding principles to determine whether to vote for or against legislation or policies?

I’m running on three issues: put students first, give parents a seat at the table and restore accountability to the School Board.  

I will vote for policies that align with my agenda.


In general, what role should the government play in the economy?

A minimal one. Government should collect taxes and ensure a level playing field for free-market competition.

Should government subsidize the manufacture of electric cars and/or give tax credits to consumers for buying electric cars? Why? Why not?

I’m not sure how this applies to the Sarasota School Board, but I don’t support subsidies for electric vehicles.

What is your philosophy for taxation? In addition, which of the following forms of taxation make the most sense to you: Graduated income tax? Flat income tax? No income tax? Consumption tax? Property tax?

I doubt I’ll have much say in changing our current forms of taxation but will keep taxes low on the Sarasota County School Board

A right does not impose an obligation on others. Free speech is a right. There is no right to having a car. In that vein, is health care a right?

By that logic, healthcare is not a right.

Given that many public schools and public universities were exposed the past two years for being turned into centers for socialistic and anti-American indoctrination (via the use of tax dollars), how should that be remedied, or should it? 

In our country, government gets its power by the “consent of the governed.” A long time ago, our society determined that it was valuable to have an educated public, so the public school system was born.

I believe students should be educated, not indoctrinated and have campaigned on that issue. That said, pro-indoctrination candidates are on the ballot, and if the public prefers indoctrination candidates over education candidates, their voice will be heard this August and this November.

If you were king, queen or a tyrannical despot in charge of the country, how, if at all, would you amend the U.S. Constitution? Why?

I wouldn’t change the U.S. Constitution. It has worked out pretty well for 246 years, and I’m not interested in discovering the unintended consequences of changing our foundational documents.