The greatest gift we can give our children is a high-quality education. Our children need to be engaged in a learning process that equips them to deal critically and creatively with life challenges and opportunities, and to contribute toward the transformation of their world. This core value is written into the Constitution of the State of Florida, which promises all children “a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high-quality system of free public schools that allow students to obtain a high-quality education.”
Unfortunately, we are not investing in education at the level we would like. The onset of the great economic recession, starting in 2008, has resulted in more than a $2 billion dollar reduction in per pupil funding in Broward County and another $1 billion dollar loss in capital funding. Although we are seeing positive trends from the recent economic recovery, we must ensure that we are efficient in the expenditure of every dollar in order to maximize our impact on student incomes.
As responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, we are continuously improving how we run our business operations and making everyone accountable for results. First, over the past two and a half years, the District has worked hard to demonstrate our commitment to spend taxpayer dollars responsibly. We have successfully reduced expenses and increased operational efficiencies, allowing the District to reinvest more than $35 million back into our classrooms. Second, student achievement is directly impacted by the quality of teaching in classrooms. Our teacher development efforts are focused on ensuring high quality instruction takes place in all of our schools, every day.
To this end, we are establishing industry best-in-class benchmarks and setting expectations to meet and exceed them. Our goal is to achieve the lowest-cost operations possible while improving the quality of services delivered to our schools. This will result in more money available to spend on our classrooms and allow us to better recognize our teachers.
This is a good school district. Let’s work together to make it a great school district. Let’s give our children the gift that will last a lifetime.