Half-pennies add up to big changes for Duval's schools
Thank you, Duval County voters! On November 3, 2020, you overwhelmingly approved the greatest renovation and rebuilding program in the history of public education in Duval County.
For the next 15 years, a voluntary half-cent sales tax will fund a facility plan that will accomplish the following: 1) Address more than $1 billion in maintenance that has been deferred more than 10 years as a result of state funding cuts; 2) Enable the district to “right size” and cut administrative costs; 3) Improve the safety and security of every school; 4) Remove most portables in schools with growing enrollments; and 5) Improve the learning environment for all students.
Each project was approved by the school board in 2019 as the final step in the district master facility planning process. That process began in 2017 with two in-depth studies: an engineering study completed by an external engineering firm that documented the needs of every school, and an enrollment study that forecasted how student population changes will impact the need for school facilities in the future. Following extensive public input through community meetings and online presentations — and modifications based on that input — the school board approved the plan and asked local voters for the funding.
Duval County Public Schools currently has the oldest school buildings in Florida, but the new revenue source will ultimately result in safer schools and improved learning environments. Thank you again, Duval County, and visit here often to see how the half-penny is working for your schools of interest.
Our schools. Our community. Our future.