School Board Larry Benjamin

Charlotte County Public Schools Board candidate for District 1, Lawrence “Larry” Benjamin

PUNTA GORDA — Lawrence “Larry” Benjamin, a father and stepfather of 10, has filed for a Charlotte County Public School Board seat.

Professionally, Benjamin is a civil estimator and project manager in the construction industry.

He will run against incumbent Cara Reynolds, along with Kathleen Y. Futch, for the District 1 job. School board races in Florida are nonpartisan.

Benjamin, a Florida resident since 2012, cited his experience in parenting as a qualification for the job.

“As a parent of 10, it is my job to protect, guide and prepare my children to be successful in life,” he said.

He believes home learning has helped parents gain insight into what is being taught.

“Many of us parents have felt that our voices have fallen on deaf ears, and that some things do not appear to be proper for our children,” he said.

He said he believes some “curriculum that is being taught in some places that appears divisive based on skin color.”

He said that has “no place” in school districts.

“So, I felt it was urgent to make sure parents’ voices are being heard and that the curriculum is based only on what children need to be prepared to thrive and be successful in life,” he said.

If elected, he won’t support “divisive” curriculum and would work to encourage “traditional” curriculum that “focuses on reading, writing, arithmetic, science, and the tools needed for knowledge to navigate through future careers and education.”

Life skill education like home economics, balancing checkbooks and doing taxes should also be taught, he said.

He said district employees and educators need better resources.

“Teachers and staff are overwhelmed at times and I would like to see better funding being made to support their needs, as well as the needs for educators to help make this one of the best (school districts) in the state,” he said.

In his spare time, he spends time with his children and attends church.

“I also work on furthering education and ways to help provide for my family,” he said.

Two of his children have graduated from Charlotte County schools, two others are in the school system, and one will be starting next year.

One of his children is a teacher for Charlotte County Public Schools, he said.

His career would also help him on the School Board, he said.

It “involves client satisfactions, team working skills, balancing budgets, and achieving a high quality product that is on time and on budget.”


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