Restoring public trust begins with qualified School Board members committed to truth, accountability, and ethical leadership
Since 2011, I have been committed to holding Broward County Public Schools accountable for educating all students, providing teachers with better resources, respecting the public, spending taxpayer dollars responsibly, and conducting operations in an efficient, transparent, and ethical manner.
The 2014 SMART Bond provided funding for new buildings to replace portables at Cypress Bay HS and Falcon Cove MS, but renovations at Stranahan (District 3), Parkway MS (District 5), and Bethune ES (District 1) were limited to mostly roof and HVAC replacements, rather than demolition and replacement of buildings past their useful life.
Last year, the School Board approved and funded the replacement of the Stranahan HS cafeteria. Then political maneuvering took over, and the School Board was misled by false information into exempting Stranahan from Florida's State Requirements for Educational Facilities so a design with less square footage than required by SREF and District standards, and less seating capacity than approved by the Board, could be used.
In 2000, the School Board agreed to bring school facilities into parity with district standards as part of its settlement with the Citizens Concerned About Our Children (CCC)--a settlement aimed at reversing disparate treatment of black students by providing all students with equal educational opportunities, equal access to educational resources such as advanced curriculums, textbooks, technology, and library books, and equitable disciplinary practices. The last required annual report by the Superintendent was presented to the School Board more than ten years ago on January 10, 2012.
School Board decisions about what projects are funded in the District Educational Facilities Plan (DEFP) will be made this summer. A $37M funding request for a new Parkway MS main building has yet to be approved, and the building demolition and replacement needed at Bethune ES has yet to be discussed by the Board. Long-range facilities planning has begun, and there are signs of the same mistakes being made again.
We need a School Board committed to doing the work it takes to build a better district for our children, and ensuring the Superintendent and all staff do the same.