Secure the Next Generation Referendum Renewal
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is presenting voters with a referendum renewal that will appear on the August 23, 2022, primary election ballot.
The new Secure the Next Generation Referendum would increase voters’ investment in education from a half-mill to one mill to continue securing funds for all public schools – and will now also includes charter schools – to:
- Recruit and retain high-quality teachers and eligible staff by increasing compensation supplements
- Maintain and enhance school resource officers and school safety staff
- Maintain and enhance essential programs, such as mental health services
Why does BCPS need to renew the referendum and increase to 1 mill?
The funds from the ½ mill referendum that voters approved in 2018 are set to expire. Those funds support over 500 school safety personnel, 100 mental health professionals, and approximately $82 million in salary supplements for teachers and eligible staff, to compete with neighboring school districts.
On April 26, 2022, the School Board approved to, once again, present this referendum on the August 23, 2022, primary election ballot, with an increase to one mill, for voters to consider investing in Broward County Public Schools.
This renewal would provide BCPS with the ability to compete with neighboring school districts (Miami Dade County Public Schools, presenting an increase from the current .75 mill to one mill, and the School District of Palm Beach County Public Schools is currently at one mill), and to account for new legislation that now requires the District to share nearly 20% of these funds with charter schools.
If the current Secure The Next Generation Referendum is not renewed, funding for the following items will no longer exist.
- For general information, visit browardsoe.org.
- For information about early voting, visit browardvotes.gov/Voting-Methods/Early-Voting-Dates-Hours-and-Sites.
*Early voting starts on Saturday, August 13, 2022, and ends Sunday, August 21, 2022.
- To vote by mail, visit browardvotes.gov/Voter-Information/Vote-By-Mail-Voting.
- To register to vote in Broward County, visit browardvotes.gov/Register-to-Vote/Voter-Registration-Form.
- For statewide information about voting, visit RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov.
What is a mill or millage rate?
The mill or millage rate is the amount of property value used to calculate local property taxes. One mil would provide $100 for every $100,000 of assessed property value.
Ballot LanguageShall The School Board of Broward County levy an ad valorem property tax of one mill annually for fiscal years July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2027, to provide funding for (i) school resource officers, safety staff and mental health professionals, (ii) increasing compensation to recruit and retain teachers and staff and (iii) essential instruction related expenditures to preserve important programs, for the benefit of all traditional public and charter schools?
_____Yes or _____No
What is the Difference Between the Secure the Next Generation Referendum Renewal and the SMART Bond?
The Secure the Next Generation Referendum is not related to the SMART Bond. SMART Bond funds strictly provide funding for critical maintenance needs and capital improvements to buildings. The SMART Bond funds cannot be used for compensation or noncapital expenses. To learn more, visit bcpssmartfutures.com.
The School Board voted to allocate funds for the following:
- 75 percent – increase compensation to recruit and retain teachers
- 17 percent – provide funding for school resource officers and school safety staff
- 8 percent – preserve important programs, such as mental health programs and personnel
All compensation will be subject to collective bargaining. The public will have an opportunity to comment on dispersal of funds generated prior to distribution. These funds will not be available until 2023/24.
- The average homeowner with a home value of $393,755, would invest approximately $274.22 ($23 per month).
- The average condo owner, with an assessed value of $192,806, would invest approximately $158.42 ($13 per month).
- If the referendum passes, it would generate $177 million for BCPS and $45 million for charter schools annually, a total of approximately $227 million (includes 2% collection shortfall in property taxes) in fiscal year 2023. The referendum will expire in four years.
What Does the Current Referendum Fund?
72% of collected referendum funds (in 2022, that is approximately $82 million) in supplements with the following breakdown:
Minimum to maximum annual amount $380 – $2,000
Minimum to maximum annual amount $760 – $13,500
Minimum to maximum annual amount $560 – $2,600
- Food Service Workers
Minimum to maximum annual amount $140 – $1,200
Minimum to maximum annual amount $570 – $980
Minimum to maximum annual amount $350 – $1,055
Minimum to maximum annual amount $248 – $1,390
- TSP (Technical Support Professional)
Minimum to maximum annual amount $870 – $3,400
- COPA (clerical)
Minimum to maximum annual amount $245 – $1,160
Minimum to maximum annual amount $660 – $1,200
20% of collected referendum funds ($21million) in safety and security with approximately 540 positions, including the following:
- Armed school safety officers - 29
- Building Security – 4
- Campus Monitors – 388
- Clerical Support – 14
- Human Resources – 3
- Lead Building Security – 1
- Manager, Area Security – 9
- Manager, Campus Security – 8
- Security Specialists – 82
*Includes payroll processors and technical service specialists
8% of collected referendum funds ($9 million) in Mental Health with approximately 100 positions, including the following:
- Family Counselors (ESE) – 10
- Guidance Counselors (Elementary)– 28
- Guidance Directors (High)– 2
- School Nurse – 2
- School Psychologist – 20
- School Social Worker – 17
- Teachers – 7*
- Therapists (Family Counseling Program) - 12
*Includes hospital homebound and suicide prevention teachers
What to Expect for Fiscal Year 2023
- The average homeowner with a home value of $393,755, would invest approximately
- $274.22 annually ($23 per month).
- The average condominium owner, with an assessed value of $192,806, would invest
- approximately $158.42 annually ($13 per month).
- If the referendum passes, it would generate $177 million for BCPS and $45 million for Charter Schools annually, a total of approximately $227 million in fiscal year 2023.
The referendum will expire in four years.
While the SMART program experienced some unforeseen implementation delays at the onset, the District has taken measures to get the program back on track, which included hiring a new Program Manager a year and a half ago. Since then, the program has since made notable strides towards a completion date by end of year 2025. Today, there are over 60 completed projects, 180 projects that are actively under construction, and an additional 50+ that will begin construction. To learn more, visit https://bcpssmartfutures.com/.
The District engaged S. Davis & Associates, P.A. to audit the current, and soon to expire, Secure the Next Generation Referendum. The audit noted that the District expended Secure the Next Generation funds as approved by voters on the August 28, 2018, referendum ballot.
For more information or to schedule the Superintendent or her designee to speak to your group, please contact the Legislative Affairs office at 754-321-2608
Due to several years of insufficient funding by the State, teacher pay is not competitive for a college-educated professional and does not allow teachers to earn a decent livelihood in Broward County compared to other areas.
Senate Bill 7026
The State of Florida as part of Senate Bill 7026 requires every school to have a school safety officer, but does not provide full funding to meet the mandate. This prompted Broward County Public Schools, and districts statewide, to find funding elsewhere.
What is a mill or millage rate? The mill or millage rate is the amount of property value used to calculate local property taxes. One mil would provide $100 for every $100,000 of assessed property value.