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Students at Broward County Schools will see improved facilities, more technology and more resources for arts and athletics.
The Broward County voters approved an $800 million General Obligation Bond during the November 4 election.
“We would like to thank all of our parents, employees, students and community members for working incredibly hard over the past several months to inform our community about the critical needs facing our schools,” said Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie. “The General Obligation Bond will provide the funds necessary to meet our schools’ most critical life-safety, technology and facility needs, as well as invest in music, art and athletic programs. The Bond is an investment in our students’ futures, as we work to provide them with the resources they need to learn to their highest potential.”
Hollywood Hills High School will receive a budget of $15,871,000 for major renovations. Other schools in Hollywood will receive money for significant improvements.
Because of the Bond, 212 schools will have work performed on their building envelopes, roofs, and windows. Many District schools will have wall renovations and replacements. 217 schools will have renovations done on their HVAC systems to ensure that every school in the District has fully-functioning air conditioning and improved air quality. There will be 287 safety projects across the District to address all fire alarm and fire sprinkler needs.
Also, every school will have a complete single point of entry system. All District schools will see improvements to their computers and technology infrastructure; These schools will also receive $100,000 in funding from the Bond that can be used to support school identified capital improvement projects.
This bond is needed by the school system. In May 2008, the Florida Legislature reduced the tax on property values that provides capital revenues for school districts to address facility and equipment needs from $2 per $1,000 of taxable value to $1.75. In 2009, the legislature further reduced the tax rate by another 25 cents, to $1.50 per $1,000 of taxable value. Because of this loss, the Broward County school system was forced to cut $1.8 billion in capital projects for schools and facilities.
This means that Broward taxpayers are spending less on education than in previous years. Forty percent of the District’s school buildings are more than 25 years old and the average age is 27 years old. In all buildings, roofs, air conditioners, electrical systems and plumbing have a limited lifespan and need repair or replacement.
A Broward County homeowner with a home valued at $225,000 will realize an average increase in capital outlay tax of $50 per year over the life of the bond. The homeowner’s capital outlay tax will be about $127 less per year than it was in 2007. This means the homeowner will pay about 26 percent less in capital outlay than seven years ago.
A Broward County condominium owner with a condominium valued at $105,000 will realize and average increase in capital outlay tax of $20 per year over the life of the bonds. This is $72 less per year than it was in 2007. This means that the condominium owner will still be paying 33 percent less in capital outlay tax than seven years ago.