This power point is intended to provide information . It is not intended to persuade anyone to vote a certain way.
If teachers want to talk with their friends and neighbors about this issue they should not wait until the eve of the election. Thousands of voters vote early or via absentee ballots.
Due to class size amendment requirements, many cuts have been made in electives. This will continue as the budget shortfalls continue. Coaching positions have already been cut by 20%. Art and music positions have been cut at the secondary level and are in danger of being reduced at the elementary level.
Every high school in our district has been nationally ranked by the organizations shown. This demonstrates a Pre-K through 12 success story that cannot be matched by any other district. The 94% graduation rate is another statistic that demonstrates our effective our Pre-K through 12 system is.
We are now in competition with charter schools and virtual schools for students. Parents and students want flexibility so we give it to them via ePathways.
Each high school has a program of emphasis that allows students to study a unique curriculum centered around the latest in job trends. The vision for these programs of emphasis is for them to filter throughout the clusters so that students will once again have a continuous and connected curriculum, Pre-K through 12. Middle schools and elementary schools are aligning with the program of emphasis in the cluster high school to create a common curriculum theme Pre-K through 12. Middle schools and elementary schools offer very popular magnet choices that require funding to keep them vibrant and healthy.
It is obvious that the state legislature is attempting to shift some of the responsibility for the funded of public schools to the local level. With an unstable revenue source at the state level (sales tax) many local school districts are asking their citizens if they will provide support. Our neighbors to the south, Orange County, receive almost $600 more per student because their voters approved a millage increase and a sales tax increase specifically for their schools.
Schools are at a tipping point. So far, we have been able to maintain our high grades, provide excellent teachers for our students, and provide the customer service that our community expects from us. How much longer can we continue to do more with less? Especially when the more is greater every year and the less reaches a point where it hurts.
Each year the school board will decide how much of the mill is needed. Some years may be the entire mill, other years it may be less than that. The economy and the level of state funding is impossible to predict. Even the most talented economists cannot predict what will happen. This is why the school board will decide how much of the mill to levy each year of the four years it is in place. As asked before….what gets cut next? Art programs, music programs, athletic programs, clubs, science materials. Do we really want to be a school system who only delivers what is absolutely required? Or do we want to continue to provide excellence in every area? How long before our best teachers look to other school districts who can provide more support to their classrooms? It is estimated that over $70 million will be needed over the next five years alone to service and/or replace antiquated HVAC systems. Computer based testing and the demands of the technology natives that we teach will require a huge commitment of dollars to technology and infrastructure needs.
You might consider quizzing the faculty in this manner. If your home has a taxable value of $300, 000 how much would one mill be? $175,000? $220,000?
Think about how much that is per day. Less than a Starbucks coffee? Less than one item on the dollar menu? Per month? Less than having a pizza delivered?
The obvious question here is: Can it be used to give teachers and other employees a raise? The answer is that raises are negotiated. Therefore, this question cannot be answered before any new revenues are received. It is obvious, however, that raises cannot occur when the school district is in a budget deficit.
ePathways calls for students and staff members to recognize that there are multiple pathways to success in life. It is vitally important that we have the resources necessary to educate our students about these pathways and that we give them the opportunity to take courses that will help them to be successful after high school. We must continue to provide superior preparation for college but we must expand our vocational and career and technical education choices to other post secondary opportunities.
Often times, these are the programs that engage our students. They have a passion for these programs and they cannot be ignored or allowed to deteriorate. How would our communities react if we started eliminating band, chorus, drama, art, athletic teams?
There is no way to exactly predict the amounts needed in each area. There is also no way of knowing how much of the mill (if passed) would be levied each year. The commitment to the public is that the needs would be prioritized and expended in the areas identified.
These are not scare tactics. These are facts. The school system has cut until it cannot substantially cut any more without impacting these areas.
Telling it like it is referendum
eminole County Public SchoolsInformative, factual information about the referendum