A Coral Springs field trip company operated by Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC) chair candidate Karin Hoffman, relies upon government contracts approved by the Democrat-controlled School Board of Broward County. Hoffman is listed as the vice president of her family-owned Sonshine Educational Tours, Inc. Hoffman’s company offers school fields trips to St. Augustine, Disney World, Washington D.C. and other locales. A review of official records show many of these School Board trips were funded with Federal tax dollars from the U.S. Department of Education.
In January 2011, as part of a new history program, the School Board of Broward County approved a week-long trip to Washington, D.C. by thirty elementary, middle and high school America history teachers. Sonshine agreed to “provide intensive training on the history of the United States.” The Board awarded the $68,354 contract states to Sonshine Educational Tours, Inc..
In April 2011, the School Board of Broward County approved a two day trip by elementary school teachers to St. Augustine. The Board awarded the $16,520 contract to Hoffman’s Sonshine Educational Tours, Inc.
The funding came from a $1,000,000 “Teaching American History” grant from the Federal government.
Sonshine Educational Tours, Inc. has provided services for other school districts and private schools, including for-profit charter schools.
While some may say Hoffman is simply practicing smart business practices, others wonder how a self-described tea party leader could argue against government waste and crony capitalism while she makes a living banking Federal and local tax dollars awarded by government entities.
Several BREC members worry Hoffman’s dealings with the School Board of Broward County will hamper Republican efforts to elect school board members. Would Hoffman actively recruit and support candidates to challenge Democrat School Board members if she needs the support of these same members? Several board members will face voters in November 2016.
Sources tell REDBROWARD that Hoffman has repeatedly avoided local school board races. One source said when Hoffman was asked to run for a school board seat, she said she could not because it would affect her business. During the recent election, Hoffman made no mention of the $800 million school bond issue.
Broward Republicans will have a chance to ask Karin Hoffman about the school board contracts at tonight’s final BREC debate. The event at Deicke Auditorium in Plantation begins at 7pm. Hoffman, Levi Williams and Chris Leggatt trail front runner Christine Butler in race to be the next BREC chair.