Florida – October 18, 2018 – Several school districts – including Broward, Manatee, and Sarasota – plan to share voter-approved tax referendum dollars with all public school teachers and students. Public charter schools in Broward County will get a share of tax referendum dollars to use for school resource officers if they their enrollment exceeds 900, and Sarasota School Board Member Shirley Brown said “We want these kids to be safe in our charter schools too. They’re our students” when discussing the tax referendum. However, that is not the sentiment in all districts.
In July, the Palm Beach School District board members voted to exclude charter school students and teachers from a proposed tax referendum, and Lee County schools are asking voters to decide on a half-cent investment in education for district enrollment growth projections that do not include charter school, virtual school, or Gardiner Scholarship students. There is also a proposed tax referendum in Miami Dade. “We are hopeful that school board will share funds that support safe schools initiatives and teacher pay however, the school board has not committed to share this money with public charter schools at this time,” explains Lynn Norman-Teck, Executive Director, FCSA and charter school parent of two.
When charter school leaders began informing parents and their faculty that the Miami Dade and Palm Beach referendums didn’t include them, the local paper wanted to know who was behind the informational campaign instead of asking why students and teachers at public charter schools were being excluded from local dollars. Click here to read that article.
Tax referendums are on the November 6th ballot. We encourage you to contact your school board member and ask that #allteacher working at public schools be included.
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Palm Beach tax referendum ballot language:
Shall the School Board of Palm Beach County have authority to levy 1.00 mills of ad valorem millage dedicated for operational needs of non-charter District schools to fund school safety equipment, hire additional school police and mental health professionals, fund arts, music, physical education, career and choice program teachers, and improve teacher pay beginning July 1, 2019 and automatically ending June 30, 2023, with oversight by the independent committee of citizens and experts?