Micheal Boylan disappointing attacks on the city’s schools and children taken to task by a constituent

Councilman Boylan taken to task by a constituent disappointed by him fighting against Duval County’s schools and children,

Mr. Boylan,
I appreciate your reply, but I have my own concerns about the Council and their ability to govern.

Your words
“I frankly don’t understand why that same policy shouldn’t apply with capital funds as well but then again that will be up to the voters to decide.”

Capital funds are for repairs. Smaller schools might have fewer students, but need more money than larger schools. The policy of sending capital dollars with the students will hurt smaller schools, which could be in poorer communities that also have less money coming in from PTSAs and other possible community donors. This should not be hard for you to understand, but if you’re trying to get more capital dollars to charters, then using that logic would be a good way to get it done. The Council could actually look at the budget and answer all those money questions on their own; It’s just another excuse to pass it along. It also makes the Council look very ill prepared, as many- if not all-of the questions and concerns have been answered and addressed publicly throughout the year. Part of serving the city is to know what’s going on, not just ask questions, but do the work to find the answers.

The money the district receives is being used to find temporary solutions to problems that need more money to repair and replace long-term. We don’t need students in portables, the money we get won’t cover those costs, plus the continued repairs. PECO funds were also not distributed to public schools for one year as they all went to charters. Those funds are split between charters-32 in Duval- and 129 public (I believe) I am not sure that is even close to being fair, or helps DCPS with the maintenance of 50 year old schools. If the council would accept the more than generous 5% that would be given to charters- it’s in the plan- than I am sure all those “questions and concerns” would be a moot issue. The problem is that the Council is not willing to accept that, they want more for charters and that is a problem for public schools. You should know that- and care.

As far as your concerns about a campaign, I believe the 20 plus meetings DCPS has had, the students’ families and teachers that attend our public schools, and the media recognition this has earned will no doubt bring out the voters. In fact, I don’t know anyone- in and out of education at any age that hasn’t heard about this. DCPS is paying for ballot as stated by Dr. Greene, so that should not be a concern; they are their own governing body and are quite capable of managing their funds under Dr. Greene. I am sure you’re aware this is not her first tax referendum and it is just one of her many attributes.”

Becki Couch explains to Micheal Boylon and the city council why they are wrong on a proportional cut of the tax referendum for charters and other issues

Becki Couch is truly missed on the school board. I hope she considers getting back into the game either on the city council or if Charlotte Joyce doesn’t start doing her job back to the school board in three years. 

Via Facebook Mrs. Couch explains why Micheal Boylon and the city council are wrong on wanting charters to get a proportional cut of the tax referendum for charters and other issues. 

She was responding to a letter Councilman Micheal Boylon sent his constituents which you can find here.


Capital Funding
Unfortunately his answer is covering only half the story and lends itself to misinformation and misunderstanding.

The district did not have a problem with deferred maintenance prior to 2009, when the first millage cut was imposed. While he is correct that there has been a recovery of some revenue since 2013 because of increases in property values, the annual funding level remains $15 million less than it was in 2008 when millage was 2.0, not 1.5 as it is now. In inflation adjusted dollars, the annual revenue is about $31 less than in 2008.

Using 2008 funding as a base, the net loss against that funding level is about $300 million, aggregate, unadjusted for inflation. In other words, if we had been funded at 2008 levels through 2019, we would be about $300 million wealthier than we are now.

Additionally, the district has pretty much lost its PECO funding sources. In 2008, the district received $18.4 million in facilities PECO. These dollars are now going primarily to charter schools.

Sharing with charters on a per-student basis —
Operational and facility costs are different.
Operational costs tend to be “per-student” variable costs.
Facilities costs are not “per-student” variable costs.

Facilities costs are highly variable based on the age and condition of the facility. Like older cars, older buildings need more maintenance.

The district facilities plan directs dollars to where the facility needs are. Older schools with more facility problems have a higher ratio of the funds. The point is to fix problems and give every student a quality learning environment. Large new schools with fewer facility condition challenges are getting what they need, but loading them up with dollars on a per-student basis, would leave real needs unfunded throughout the district.

That’s why it doesn’t make sense to share with charters on a “per student” basis.

Under the per-student model suggested by some charter school advocates, nearly brand new privately owned buildings would receive buckets of money for which there is no need. That’s not good, conservative, responsible stewardship of resources. We agree that sharing safety and security dollars using the same formula for district managed schools makes sense, and that is in Dr. Greene’s recommendations. But funneling money to privately owned charter buildings with no demonstrated need is not in student or taxpayer interest.

Here’s an analogy. If you have two drivers in the family, you are probably budgeting for auto repairs. Let’s say Mrs. Boylan is driving a classic 1964 Mustang. She loves it, but it will require a high level of annual maintenance. Mr. Boylan is driving a one-year-old Toyota Camry that looked good on the campaign trail. The Boylan’s do the math and predict that they will spend about $4,000 on car maintenance and repair – about $3,500 for the old Mustang and $500 for the new Camry.
If you divide the budget on a per-driver basis, each family member will get $2,000. So while Mr. Boylan can now add sweet new rims to his ride, Mrs. Boylan will break down on San Jose Blvd. That’s not a good result. But if the money follows the need, everyone has a happy, safe commute.

Regarding the marketing plan –
You’ll just have to trust us. Since these measures have passed in almost every district in Florida, we have some successful models to follow. But sharing more about our plans at this stage would be like the Jaguars sharing their game plan with the coach of the other team. All of our leaders (school board members), have won an election within the last three years. We know what it takes. It would be so much more helpful if business leaders and civic leaders endorsed the effort as they have in other communities where these referendums have occurred.