The website ourduvalschools.org will answer a lot of people’s questions.
All publicly funded schools (except private schools receiving taxpayer money via vouchers authorized by the state legislators) will receive the referendum’s dedicated revenue source to be used as follows:
- Renovations, repairs, or rebuild based on age and condition of the taxpayer owned building.
- Enhanced safety and security based on a per-square-foot formula.
- Replace portable buildings with permanent safer buildings.
Here is why I don’t simply use the term “public schools.” In days gone by, “public schools” meant only the neighborhood schools. Now some people include charter schools in the definition. (ref 1) Governor DeSantis recently included private schools, funded by vouchers, when he used the term “public schools.”
I applaud Council Member Carlucci for being a leader and urging his colleagues to do the right thing and let the people vote. (ref 3) I believe the people will vote to give the school board a dedicated revenue stream to repair the schools. My belief is not without evidence, a poll said 83% of the people would vote yes on the referendum. (Ref 2)
Here is the link to a radio interview with Chartrand and Miller. I post this interview because Chartrand and Miller are part of a group called Civic Council. They say on this interview that they know the neighborhood schools need money for repairs. However, Chartrand is complaining that the school board hasn’t given more money to a charter school that he has money invested in. A caller asks around minute 28: “What will happen to the profits if the building and land, that house the charter school, that you’ve invested in should be sold?” Notice that both Chartrand and Miller dodge the question. Also please listen starting at minute 42 when Melissa Ross questions Chartrand’s dedication to quality education. The point is: be careful if you hear them criticizing the school board’s plan.
Quote from an article stating that when the budget was finalized the neighborhood schools got zero PECO funding:
The final budget deal for PECO projects includes the $158 million lawmakers earmarked for charter school building maintenance and repairs, $76 million for higher-education construction projects, and $1.5 million in recurring funds to the Department of Education to develop a two-year workforce program that would assist individuals aged 22 or older to get a high school diploma and career technical skills.
ref 1 http://www.integrityflorida.org/the-hidden-costs-of-charter-school-choice-privatizing-public-education-in-florida/
ref 2 83% (.49 +.34) support the sales tax increase . That’s amazing! The sales tax increase will be $1.50 per month (if you spend $3,600 a year on taxable items per year) in order to give the school board a dedicated revenue stream to repair the schools. https://www.news4jax.com/news/florida/duval-county/unf-poll-voters-support-half-cent-sales-tax-to-benefit-schools
Ref 3 Matt Carlucci on First Coast Connect https://news.wjct.org/post/72219-councilman-matt-carlucci-if-you-want-make-god-laugh-cole-pepper
As far as questions about which schools will be closed, renovated, or rebuilt; you can find the details and the reasoning at “see the plan” at this link:
The School District’s Superintendent has answered the city council members’ questions. You can read the Superintendent’s answers within the article at this link:
City Council Committee meeting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jTDGdiAfI0