Citing critical funding needs to modernize and improve the safety of outdated educational facilities and update instructional technology, the School Board of Broward County, Florida, unanimously approved a General Obligation Bond Resolution on Monday, June 9, 2014, to place an education bond referendum on the November 4, 2014, ballot.
The approval of the resolution requests the Broward County Supervisor of Elections to hold a bond election on behalf of School Board seeking the issuance of general obligation bonds for a total amount of $800 million.
Since 2008, the State legislature has reduced the amount of dollars allocated for school facility capital needs. Several Florida school districts have asked the State to restore funding to address aging school facilities and technology needs, to no avail.
From a taxpayer’s perspective, the proposed $800 million bond would mean about $50 per year for homeowner with a house valued at $225,000. This equals less than $5 per month and less than $1 per week.
More than 40 community members, parents, students, business leaders and elected officials who attended the Board meeting to speak in support of the bond, cited facilities and technology needs that far outweigh the District’s current funding capacity.
In his appeal to School Board members for their support of the General Obligation Bond Resolution, Superintendent of Schools Robert W. Runcie, spoke to the theme that ‘our students deserve better.’
“Now is the time for us to make smart investments in our students,” said Superintendent Runcie. “These dollars will allow us to make investment in Safety, Music and Athletics, Renovations and Technology (SMART) because SMART investments will lead to smart students.”
The District plans a multi-faceted communications effort to educate the community about the bond referendum and the needs of the School District. More than 300 community meetings are planned to take place this summer through November.
ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest public school system in the United States, the second largest in the state of Florida and the largest fully accredited K-12 and adult school district in the nation. BCPS has over 260,000 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 229 schools and education centers and 94 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population. Students are from 204 different countries and speak 130 different languages. For more information about BCPS, visit (browardschools.com
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