On The Ballot: Teachers, Resource Officers, Safety Staff & Mental Health Services
June 23, 2022
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is presenting Voters with a Referendum Renewal that will appear on the August 23rd, 2022, Primary Election Ballot. 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.
The new Secure The Next Generation Referendum would increase Voters’ investment in Education from a Half-Mill to 1-Mill to continue securing Funds for all Public Schools – and will now also include 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 it 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 Tuesday, April 26th, 2022, the School Board Approved to, once again, present this Referendum on the Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022, Primary Election Ballot with an increase to 1-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, such as the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, who are Presenting an increase from the current .75-Mill to 1-Mill and the School District of Palm Beach County Public Schools is currently at 1-Mill and to account for new Legislation that now requires the District to share nearly 20% of these Funds with Charter Schools.
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 and the Public will have an opportunity to comment on dispersal of Funds generated prior to distribution. These Funds will not be available until 2023/2024.
The average Homeowner with a Home Market Value of $393,755 for 2021 and a School Board Taxable Value of $274,220, would invest approximately $274 that year or $23 per month, which is an additional $11.50 more than their current investment.
The average Condo Owner with a Condo Market Value of $192,806 for 2021 and a School Board Taxable Value of approximately $158,421, would invest approximately $158 that year or $13 per month, which is an additional $6.50 more than their current investment.
If the Referendum passes, it would generate $177 Million for BCPS and $45 Million for Charter Schools annually, a total of approximately $227 Million Including: 2% Collection Shortfall in Property Taxes in the Fiscal Year of 2023 and the Referendum will expire in four years.