Today’s classrooms. Tomorrow’s workforce.

Voters Will Decide on Nov. 3, 2020

It’s official. Voters will decide on Nov. 3 whether to provide funding to upgrade schools through repairs and modernization, keep schools safe, improve technology and replace existing or build new schools.  The ballot language here authorizes the Duval School Board to levy a 15-year half-cent sales tax. On April 14, 2020, the Jacksonville City Council voted to approve the resolution requested by the School Board to place the referendum on the ballot, ending a legal dispute between the two government bodies. This web page and future communication is designed to inform voters about everything they need to know, including the Master Facility Plan, projected revenue, cost to taxpayers, why it’s needed, economic benefits to the community and how facilities improve student achievement. 

5 Reasons for Change

Just like work spaces, research shows a good learning environment improves achievement. All students in the county deserve a building and resources to succeed economically.

5

New schools are needed in some areas and that will allow us to remove portables in existing schools.

4

Safety and security upgrades will be provided for every school.

3

Some schools are very small or operating way below student capacity, wasting precious dollars to maintain the buildings. They need to be consolidated with other schools to increase resources for teaching and cut overhead.

2

Our schools are the oldest in the state. They desperately need basic maintenance and upgrades, like air conditioners, roofing, flooring and window replacement. State funding cuts have caused a $1 billion maintenance backlog.

Why Is It Needed? Old Schools, State Cuts, Economic Stimulus

Duval’s Schools are

Florida’s Oldest

Orange

20

Years

Palm Beach

Years

21

Broward

Years

28

Pinellas

Years

32

Hillsborough

Years

33

Miami-Dade

33

Years

St. Johns

25

Years

Duval

Years

44

Average Age of Florida Schools in the 7 Largest Districts (Years)

20% Funding Loss

State Funding Cuts Since 2008 have reduced facility funding to almost $300 million over 11 years. This has caused back- logged maintenance of $243 million. Because of the age of the schools, backlogged maintenance will balloon to $1 billion in five years. 

Economic Stimulus

The referendum provides a community-wide economic stimulus package. The cost to the individual is small, while the benefit to the community is huge.  It will boost our economy, expedite the road to recovery, create thousands of jobs and help hundreds of businesses. It will increase the value of neighborhoods and homes while improving schools.

What You Need to Know

Why is a voluntary half-penny sales tax being proposed at this time?

The tax is being proposed at this time for 6 major reasons:

How do improved school buildings contribute to student achievement?

They contribute to student achievement in several important ways:

Why should I support this tax, if  I don't have children in school?

Public education impacts everyone.

How will I know if the school district is doing what it says it will do with the money?

A Citizens Oversight Committee...

What question will voters see on the ballot?

Will this tax last forever?

No. It expires in 15 years.

Does any of this money go to the School Board or administrative salaries?

Absolutely not.

Why not use impact fees to meet the schools' needs?

Impact fees can't be used for all schools in all areas.

Doesn't money from the Florida Lottery fund schools?

The schools receive little money from the lottery.

Can't the district borrow money by issuing bonds?

It isn't a good idea. Here's why.

What is the difference between capital and operational money?

Capital dollars are for buildings and operation money is for teacher salaries.

How does support for Duval County Public Schools compare with other districts?

We are one of the few counties in Florida that doesn't invest in schools this way.

What would happen if voters do not approve the sales tax for education?

Failure to get support would mean students continue to sit in aging, rapidly deteriorating schools.

How would the additional funds raised through the sales tax be used?

100 % of the funds would be used to help our aging schools.

Financial Implications: How a 1/2 Penny Adds Up to Great Schools for Duval

Duval County Public Schools has engaged with financial advisors from PFM LLC to forecast revenue

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How is the money distributed between charter and traditional schools?

Duval will comply with the new state statute passed by the legislation this year to distribute

Duval County Public Schools

Tel: 904-390-2000         1701 Prudential Drive

                                      Jacksonville, FL 32207

Duval County Public Schools is an equal opportunity school district. 

Duval Schools has policies and procedures in place to protect its employees, students and anyone associated with the District from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment or retaliation. It prohibits discrimination based upon race, color, gender, age, religion, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, political or religious beliefs, national or ethnic origin, pregnancy, genetic information or veteran status.

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