I was shocked to hear about the terrible condition some of our school buildings are in. I don’t understand why some on the city council are hesitating to let the school board put this on the ballot in November 2019. The school board said they’d pay for the election out of their budget.
The philanthropic organization JPEF says the voters want the repairs to be made. ref 1 Since the issue is clear cut, I don’t think massive super PAC money is needed to get this passed as was needed for Mayor Curry to get his sales tax increase passed to fix the pension debacle in August of 2016.
Please vote yes on 2019-380 which will allow the school board to put the referendum on the November 2019 ballot.
Hopefully philanthropists will donate money to make the neighborhood school grounds even more beautiful for our communities. Beautiful buildings and beautiful parks add to our quality of life.
We need to start these repairs soon. According to the website of the philanthropic organization JPEF , funding from the state has been decreasing over the years, and therefore Duval County Public Schools haven’t been able to accommodate the demand for building upgrades. According to that same website, the Duval County School District is the only district in Florida that doesn’t have a dedicated revenue source from either impact fees or sales taxes. ref 2
Because state funding sources have decreased so significantly, there is not enough predictable funding to back a bond issue. If the voters vote yes on the referendum in November 2019, then the predictable dedicated revenue source will enable the district to issue bonds and accelerate work on the highest priority school projects. ref 3
Dr. Greene was hired as the superintendent because the elected school board members felt she had the skills to fix the problems. And part of the equation was putting a referendum on the ballot. Quote from a TU article: School Board chairwoman Lori Hershey said “I have in my office several master plans that never got off the ground” because we need a dedicated revenue source to tackle the problems.
ref 1 https://www.jaxpef.org/news/teachers-and-parents-speak-out-on-public-schools:
ref 2 https://www.jaxpef.org/news/tax-referendum: