The District is committed to placing a certified law enforcement officer in every school. Funds from the approved mill will also be utilized to outfit Police Officers and Schools with the most up-to-date safety equipment.
The community's children are growing up in rapidly changing and complex times. Additional mental health counselors and school counselors will support the social and emotional development of students.
By enhancing teacher pay through retention supplements, schools will be able to improve upon academic achievements and keep their best teachers. Students directly benefit from having an experienced teacher in their classroom.
Teachers matter more to student achievement than any other aspect of schooling. When it comes to student performance on reading and math tests, a teacher is estimated to have two to three times the impact of any other school factor - www.rand.org.
What is the cost?
A home assessed at $225,000 with a taxable value of $200,000 after the $25,000 school tax homestead exemption, will cost an additional $150 per year, which equates to $12.50 per month, or about $0.42 per day.
A successful referendum will raise over $150 million for schools each year.
How is this different than the Penny Sales Tax voters approved in 2016?
District schools receive half of the penny sales tax approved by voters in November, 2016 for local government infrastructure capital needs. The sales tax proceeds can only be used for school repairs, renovations, classroom technology, IT infrastructure, school buses and support vehicles. Sales tax dollars by law cannot be used for teacher salaries or other operating costs.
The penny sales tax is being used to address nearly $1 billion of deferred maintenance the District was unable to perform due to legislative tax cuts during the recession that permanently reduced the capital improvemnt taxing authority of local school boards by 25% from 2.00 mills to 1.50 mills. The School District is also using sales tax dollars to improve classroom technology and replace aging school buses.
Like the property levy the District is requesting, all expenditures of the sales tax are overseen by the Independent Sales Surtax Oversight Committee.
Every District school will receive repairs and upgrades as a result of the sales tax revenue before the sales tax expires in 2026.
What about the lottery money?
Most of the Florida Lottery funds go to the Bright Futures Scholarships for graduating seniors and higher education.
The District receives enough lottery money each year to fund just two days of operational expenses.