Outgoing school board chairman Laura Zorc pens education-related Op-Ed columns


You’d expect outgoing School Board Chairman Laura Zorc to excel at crunching numbers – She’s an operations and management consultant with a background in accounting.

Did you know she’s pretty good with words, too?

Zorc, whose four-year term expires next week, has recently authored a pair of education-related Op-Ed columns – one published in the Washington Times and another that appeared on FloridaDaily.com, a website that covers politics and business in the state.

“I am extremely opinionated and have been enjoying my freedom to stand up for issues, other than local issues,” Zorc said last week, adding, “I was extremely outspoken on education policy nationally and on the state level. Before [election to the school] board, I traveled the state and country to speak on Common Core, the federal mandates and school choice issues.”

In fact, Zorc was a co-founder of Florida Parents Against Common Core, which opposes the state adhering to a set of national education standards. She also was one of 10 people chosen to serve on former Gov. Rick Scott’s “Keep Florida Learning Committee,” selected from a pool of 2,800 applicants.

A self-described “staunch conservative,” Zorc served as a volunteer on Ted Cruz’s Florida leadership team during the Texas senator’s 2016 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

It’s no surprise, then, that her columns promote a conservative Republican position.

Her Sept. 14 Op-Ed piece in the Washington Times appeared under the headline, “Congress must help parents financially while public schools are shuttered,” and pushed for reopening schools during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“During the last six months, many governors and school boards have squandered valuable time resisting reopening for the 2020-21 school year,” Zorc wrote. “They have spent more time coming up with excuses for why it could not be done instead of using that same energy to innovate and get the job done for students.”

She urged Congress to allocate funds to help families struggling financially because parents are forced to stay home from work to care for their school-aged children, writing, “If public schools are going to remain shuttered, then money should follow students, not the schools.”

The headline above Zorc’s Oct. 31 Op-Ed on the Florida Daily website read: “Expect more federal interference on education if Joe Biden is elected president.”

In her column, she wrote: “The federal government is not the answer when it comes to education . . .  Since the federal takeover of public school systems under President Jimmy Carter’s administration, school districts have been kneecapped and have not been nimble enough to address students’ needs.”

She closed her pre-election-day column by stating: “A Biden presidency would reverse the hands-off approach of the Trump administration when it comes to education.”

Zorc said she chose to write about those topics because she “felt compelled to speak up on a national level” for parents “trapped in the decisions being made for them.”

Zorc said her work as education policy advocate provided her with the media contacts needed to get her Op-Ed columns published.

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