U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan this week highlighted how the American Jobs Act would benefit Duval County Public Schools and provide critical resources during tough budget times. His remarks came in advance of Jo Anderson’s, senior adviser to the Education Secretary, visit to Jefferson Davis Middle School on Wednesday.
Anderson met with Duval County school board members, DCPS deputy superintendent Pat Willis, district administrators, and a union representative, among others, for a panel discussion on the AJA. They discussed how the AJA would benefit Duval County schools and help to ensure that students are receiving a world-class education so they can compete for the jobs of the future.
According to the Department of Education, in Duval County and the state of Florida, the measure would provide:
— $80.8 million for modernization efforts in Duval County to rebuild crumbling buildings and classes, which could help begin work on long overdue upgrades to schools and classrooms.
— $1.2 billion to the state of Florida for modernization projects, supporting an estimated 16,600 jobs.
— $1.6 billion to the state of Florida — enough to prevent an estimated 25,900 teacher layoffs for one school year.
Within the Duval County public schools, the problem of aging school facilities was recently spotlighted in a survey by the Council of the Great City Schools. According to the report, Duval County needs substantial resources including:
— $38.2 million for renovation, repair and modernization of its schools. And,
— $53.2 million to pay for deferred maintenance at schools.
Overall, the President’s American Jobs Act plan will reportedly invest $30 billion in enhancing the condition of schools — with $25 billion going to K-12 schools for repair, renovation and modernization. While the bill would help finance long overdue repairs, it would also create needed jobs and help put hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work, according to the Department of Education.
For more on the American Jobs Act of 2011, go to: