Runcie’s $800 Million In Bonds Just First Step In $2.5 Billion New Spending




Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie wants to ask voters to approve a $800 million bond issue this year.

The money would pay for technological improvements, renovations of old schools and safety enhancements.

The $800 million is just the first phase of a series of tax increases that Runcie is planning.

In six years, Runcie said more money will be needed to meet $2.5 billion worth of needs.

Runcie wants the bond sale in the November ballot.

“I see it as the beginning of the future,” Runcie said. “…It will leave this district much better off than when we found it.”

Runcie told the Broward School Board meeting in a special workshop that his goal is Broward becomes the greatest educational institution in the nation.

Amazingly, no School Board member asked the wisdom of paying for computers and technology with bonds, which won’t be paid off for 30 years.  In 2044, Broward taxpayers still will be paying for technology that will be long out-of-date.

“Those computers will be in the landfill in five years” much less 30 years, said one long-time school activist.

The superintendent had few details of what where the money would be spent, but he indicated that the improvements would be spread out across the county to get the widest support from voters.

The key to passing any bond issue is convincing voters that Broward’s public schools have shaken off its history of mismanagement, corruption and inside dealing outlined in a series of highly critical Grand Jury investigations.

School Board member and Runcie believe they have changed the direction of the school system.

“The credibility is there now,” member Donna Korn said. “The transparency is there now.”


Bond Issue Being Rushed


Yet, the time frame Runcie has planned doesn’t allow much time for community imput. The ballot resolution for the bond issue much be at the Supervisor of Elections by June 20.

Runcie is giving the Board members five days to decide whether they wanted a bond issue.  Runcie said the first approval would be on the May 6th agenda.

“The time table doesn’t suit me,” member Ann Murray warned Runcie.

Why did Runcie leave the public discussion of this bond issue to the last minute when he has been openly talking about the bond issue to the business community for at least a year?

My thought: Runcie hopes the short time frame will make it difficult for any organized opposition to form.

Since the School Board is forbidden by law from funding a campaign to support passage of the bonds, Runcie has already sounded out the downtown Fort Lauderdale business community about paying.  He has discussed the bond issue with various political consultants.

But Runcie has not yet reached out to voting groups that round up votes, such as the Broward Democratic or Broward Republican Party organizations and community and condominium associations.

Runcie also did not tell Board members how he will sell the bond issue to the parents of more than 35,000 charter school children.

The superintendent also tipped his hand about why he wants the bond issue on this year’s ballot. “Two thousand sixteen is a different demographic,” Runcie conceded.

Translation: The turnout is much lower in an off-year election and those very likely voters are perhaps more favorable towards a bond issue.

However, counting on the off-year election may work against Runcie. Anti-tax Republicans reliably vote in off-year elections. Democrats, who are thought to be more favorable towards new taxes, generally are less dependable off-year voters.

But Runcie said there was he had no choice about asking for the bond issue this year.  Due to cutbacks from Tallahassee, the Broward system has almost no money for capital expenses.

The superintendent said ominously that if the bond issue doesn’t pass, “I don’t see how we can function.”

34 Responses to “Runcie’s $800 Million In Bonds Just First Step In $2.5 Billion New Spending”

  1. Been There Before says:

    I listened to the Board meeting. Members talked about “educating” the community about the needs of the system. They must understand that they can’t use any school resources including their own time to promote a bond issue or they will end up in court.

  2. Epic Fail says:

    This bond issue is DOA.

    We are less than 3 years past grand jury reports of mismanagement, construction scandals, indictments of school board members, and resignations of others. We even have one former school board member awaiting trial in a corruption case.

    We have rumors (published on this website) of FDLE investigations into other school board members for shaking down developers and communities, improperly gaining access to student records, and trying to bully a community.

    The School District is using impact fees intended to off-set new students coming into the district to pay for debt service on old construction. Some schools continue to limp on with 50% or lower enrollment rather than consolidating them and closing/selling off unnecessary facilities (lowering capital costs) while other schools have deteriorated due to “deferred maintenance” (IGNORING NECESSARY REPAIRS) to keep those empty schools open.

    And the district still can’t find a way to bus kids 5 miles in less than an hour some days, and we had one school board member proposing to ship kids half-way across the county.

    And all the while, the district is bleeding students day after day as they flee to charter schools because parents have no faith in the public school system.

    I don’t fault Runcie for the existence of these problems – as many of them existed long before him and will exist long after he is gone.

    But if he thinks that the parents of Broward County are going to offer to pay more in property taxes or sales taxes for this bond and more to come in the near future for “technology” before the district gets its financial house in order and starts addressing the half-empty buildings they already have, he is nuts.

    I’ll give this district more money after they close and consolidate the half empty schools they already have (saving millions), sell off assets they don’t need (recouping millions) and can operate at some level of efficiency.

    Until then..NO NEW TAXES!

  3. Ghost of McLovin says:

    $800M will not be enough for all the SB lobbyists, contractors and attorneys. Thet’ll have to start knocking down perfectly good school buildings and rebuild them in order to spend all that money (oh wait, they already do that). I WILL NEVER VOTE TO VOLUNTARILY RAISE TAXES UPON MYSELF. Especially for these awesome stewards of our education system.

  4. Republican Support says:

    Buddy can you confirm if it is true Senator Lemieux, Rep Moritias and Comm LaMarca support the bond issue


    I don’t know the answer to this question.

  5. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    Whatever the history, the fact remains that many our public schools are in growing need of capital repair and investment.

    We as adults are irresponsible to the extent that we make any excuses, however understandable, to not confront that fact.

    Outweighing the serious concerns mentioned is this — we as adults owe it to all public school children that their facilities and educational technology tools are up to date. The fact is we have to attend to the concerns mentioned even as we fix the schools. Both are important.

    Our parents displayed that kind of responsibility for us when we were kids, and it’s our job now to do the same for our kids. However, there’s one caveat and it’s a very important one to note.

    Notice. I said ALL public school students. Not just these but not those. ALL of them.

    That includes charter school students.

    This game of funding some public school students at 69 cents on the dollar spent on traditional public schools is immoral, a majority of parents say so, and it needs to stop. This game of punishing parents who make school choices by hurting their kids with less funding is evil and it must end.

    I want to support this bond issue because as a responsible adult I realize that an investment in our school infrastructure is needed. It is an investment in ourselves, no different than painting your house or fixing your roof.

    The schools are ours and as parents it’s our job to keep them in top working order. However, let me be clear.

    I will be G-Damned if I’m going to vote to tax myself even a penny more so that this school board or any other can continue taking care of some but not ALL public school students equally. That financial discrimination game must end. It is reprehensibly immoral.

    So, I will be looking for signs.

    If they come, I will want to see those signs reduced to writing so there’s no amnesia afterward.

    If this is going to be done on an equal basis, I’m on board 100%. If not, don’t even bother calling.

    We owe outstanding schools to all our children without exception. Education dollars should follow the child equally. It’s one of the few points that both Democrats and Republicans agree on, yet oddly that message does not come in for a landing in Broward County.

    I cannot support any effort that advances discrimination against parent choice.

    So show me a fair plan. And if it’s fair I will ask my parents to make a responsible sacrifice in the name of the thing we as parents treasure most. Our children.

    I will also say this. If a fair plan comes forward, Bob Runcie is the right man to get it done. My confidence in his ability to carry it out is very strong.


  6. Just one vote says:

    I have always respected your comments. I am just confused on one issue, do you own stock in charter schools?
    I can not and will not vote to give any more money to the school board or Mr. Runcie. I do not see the much need improvements in our school that should have already taken place since Mr. Runcie has been here.
    The system has been flawed for a very long time and our children and parents have paid dearly.
    Buddy has written about many of the things that should have already been addressed. “Fool me once shame on you! Fool me twice shame on me”
    I don’t agree with taxing me again so you can’t abuse the funds and also have a memory loss who are the big losers then ? The parent and the kids and the taxpayer.
    Learn what middle class America and the poor have had to learn do more with less. Show me the improvements all around in all the school equally and then you can have my vote.

  7. NFW says:

    let him put it on the ballot and do so before SOE June deadline
    it’ll be DOA like Epic Fail says
    see runcie was still living large in chicago when courthouse bond failed, school bond failed (twise) and sales tax increase for transports failed
    he thinks broward voters are stupid, flush with cash or both.
    Well he will find out soon enough.

    stayed tuned!

  8. Alice McGill says:

    There should be no approval for bond money for schools until cost saving measures such as changing Nova schools into boundaried or magnet schools. Nova is an educational research project that died a long time ago. Students are still bused from all over the county to attend the schools. Nova schools are just like any other public school in Broward. Chevrolet dumped their Nova and came up with new models. The Broward County Schoolboard should do the same thing.

  9. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:

    Dear Just:

    No, of course I do not own stock in charter school companies. Frankly I don’t even think any of them sell stock. But for sure my views on public education have nothing whatsoever to do with my personal finances. I have no personal financial interest in the matter whatsoever.

    I do own stock in fairness. I also own stock in justice and in moving the mission of public education forward. I am an elected official who care deeply about those things.

    And because I take those things seriously, I am ascribing seriousness to the issue. It’s not lip service from me. These are deeply held principles we’re talking about. Community values.

    It’s also true that my city owns and operates the largest, best run, municipal charter school system in America. And I am on the governing board of that public school system.

    Despite consistently graduating 98% of our kids. Despite consistently sending 96% of them to four year colleges, despite consistently being an A rated school, despite our buildings meeting state school construction standards, despite being nationally recognized for educational excellence, our system is going BROKE because we only receive 69 cents on the dollar. I will tell you that’s wrong.

    In complete candor, I will also say we probably could do it for 95 cents on the dollar. We might be able to strain and still continue to produce excellence at 90 cents. Though as a public school we should be paid equally. But it can’t be done at 67 cents. The school board knows it, they hate that we produce excellence nonetheless because in my city we refuse to fail. And their biggest frustration is that we’ve not gone out of business at long last.

    Make no mistake. You all can sugar coat this any way you want. They don’t want parent choice at the school district. It offends them. It makes them work. It threatens their monopoly. I support parent choice because competition is the American way. It brings out the best in all of us, and that’s good for kids.

    They are quick to discuss how accountability should be put into place for “these” charter schools but very slow when it comes to setting a level playing field with funding. I can’t sit idly by as that propaganda machine continues their march toward hurting parent choice. I want all schools to do well, not just charters but every traditional public school. I cherish them all, but I demand fair treatment.

    Under what possible scenario could any taxpayer agree that it’s fair and equitable for some public school children to get more than others when it comes to taxpayer funds? In my view, this is Brown v. Board of Education all over again but with a new twist. Instead of a racial basis to treat some schools better than others, now it’s parent choice that becomes the new basis.

    I support the proposition that money follows the child in public education on an equal basis. We have a Democratic president that feels that way, President Obama. President Bush felt the same way. Republicans and Democrats believe this in their platforms. Our education secretary, Arne Duncan, who used to have a chief of staff named Bob Runcie, said it just that way in the auditorium of Pines Charter High School.

    Yet even when party politics align on a subject, we can’t seem to get it right. Like all good families, all good school districts share and share alike. It’s the natural law of things. What we have now is not natural it’s harsh and it punishes parents for making school choices for their children. That’s just wrong.

    I totally get that you are disappointed with past practice at the school board. We’ve all shared and suffered through that period. It’s been shameful. However let’s not also forget that since Runcie came on board, the trajectory of that school system has shifted in a decidedly positive way.

    Let’s also not forget that the capital needs of our schools is a legitimate need, not some invented problem. We have schools that are in very bad shape and since the future of education involves technology, so that our kids can compete with those of other nations in a global economy, we must give them the things they need so they can learn at the next level.

    Times are tough, the history at the school board has been sour, but the need for our kids is there. As responsible adults I am asking you to consider that we may need to separate issues in order to do what’s best for our kids.

    The bond issue has a strong basis in need, go see our schools, ask teachers, and see for yourself. Parent choice is the best friend, not the enemy of public education. We need to stop the financial discrimination against charter schools so that every public school student can do well. All of them.

    If I see that plan come forward, I will embrace it warmly and sell it as best I can for the benefit of all our kids.

    If I don’t see a fair plan come forward, you can count me out.

    Thank you for raising the question and for thinking about it responsibly.


  10. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Amazing, but not unexpected. They just got finished letting Ashbritt off the hook for most of the $700K+ the Office of the Chief Auditor found they owed from Wilma (FEMA $ the Feds should be looking at) and they’re claiming they’re not like the old Board?

    They have no money for capital expenses because of their own corruption and ineptitude.

    Look up Florida Trend Sept. 1995 “How Big Money Buys a School Board.” Same tactics. Hold the election when few will be likely to vote. Depend on the business community and those who will profit from the money to sell it.

    Say hello to the new board, just like the old board.

  11. Former school board insider says:

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    New board members-check.
    New superintendent-check.
    Staff–some new, some moldy oldies.
    “Business community”–same old same old.

    The board hired Runcie in part for his so-called business expertise. He has made no secret about his agenda to get a bond.

    Till tried this years back. He was working with the business community, who also, I recall, did a poll before the board even voted on the bond idea. Fortunately, the board members realized the stupidity of that move, and did not approve the bond idea.

    Till is gone, Garreston is dead (RIP) but the problems they created live on. Decaying buildings, unfulfilled promises to schools. Tsk tsk.

    Who would support a bond for technology that will be extinct before the bonds are even ripe?

    Who would support a bond to fix up “old schools” when the newer (as in, 25 year old schools as opposed to 40 year old schools) schools were promised changes that never occurred?

    Who would support a bond when the Board continues to allow the staff to make major mistakes, not recoup monies owed, and has not demonstrated any leadership in demanding accountability? These were issues 15 years ago, with different boards and different superintendents, and continue to be so.

    No, sir, I won’t support a bond, and frankly, no one I’ve talked to will, either. Go ask your rich business friends to loan you the money.

  12. Notocorruption says:

    Any citizen in Broward County who supports a bond issue for the purchase of computers has to be completely out of their minds. Why would anyone borrow money for 20-30 years to pay for expendable technology that is continuously upgrades every six months and functionally obsolete in five years?

  13. knowyourhistory says:

    Commissioner – Brown vs the Board of Education? I believe you need to do some reading up on your history. The students at the Pines Charter School are in no way being treated as children of color were under the horrible institution of segregation.

  14. Ha Ha Ha says:

    According to the Miami Herald, “Classroom computers from 1996” are still being used…

    The claim that newly purchased computers “will be in the landfill in five years” doesn’t seem credible. A 1996 computer is 18 years old. That may not be 30 years, but it’s certainly a whole lot more than 5.


    Anybody using a 1996 computer is not getting the full benefits of the advancements in technology.

  15. Broward Voter says:

    @13 Read what the man wrote not what you think he wrote. Unequal funding could be looked at as a form of discrimination in which some get this and others who deserve the same get less. That’s exactly what was took place during segregation. School districts called it separate but equal but they didn’t even fund the Black schools equally. In reality it was unequal and separate.

  16. Ha Ha Ha says:

    “Anybody using a 1996 computer is not getting the full benefits of the advancements in technology.” – yes, and that’s why the Miami Herald cited this situation as one of its three examples of why more investment in the school system is needed.

    I’m pretty sure the schools would LOVE to have enough money to continuously replace every computer that is five or more years old. But that’s an expensive proposition, and right now they’re a very long way from being able to do that.


    I’ll go even further than the foolishness of paying for computers and other technology with a 30-year loan.

    Who pays for roof repairs over 30 years? You can’t even get a new roof that is guaranteed to last 30 years, much less repair one and have it last 30 years. Same with air conditioners.

    The School Board needs to have money for improvements and maintenance. There needs to be a debate on whether this is the most sensible way to go about it, instead of using a sales tax where items are paid for as they are needed. Or raising other taxes.

  17. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:

    Broward Voter,

    Thank you for offering the very clarification I would have given to the question. Unequal is unequal and the effect is discriminatory whether intended or not. Education tax dollars should be distributed equally to every public school student. No excuses, do it out of common fairness. It is an abuse of power to act otherwise. Period.


  18. oh please says:

    a 1996 computer is running 386 intel and windows 95
    cut the cr*p
    nobody s using that, even if it has an internal dial up modem

    Yes windows 2003 XP is still in use because of all the whining on Microsoft dropping support last week

  19. A thought says:

    Are you suggesting a penny sales tax in lue of a bond?


    I’m suggesting there has been no public discussion of any options. The bond deal was made public five days before the School Board has to take the first vote to approve it.

    The final vote will take place before the priorities on exactly how the money will be spent — what projects — is set.

    This lack of public input up front and rush to place it on the ballot is disconcerting.

    The public has to decide whether they want to mortgage the future of children in this community for a quick fix. From the school system’s own document on Tuesday’s agenda:

    “The District generates just over $200 million from millage each year; 73% of that goes towards paying down the Board?s Certificates of Participation and 27% is used for a much pared back maintenance program, minimal technology, safety projects, indoor air quality and other uses. As of today, the District has $45 million in deferred maintenance.”

    The school system is in the difficulty because of previous borrowing (certificates of participation) which is currently eating up 3/4th of the maintenance money a year.

    Isn’t continuing to borrow money to pay routine expenses what got Chicago and other cities in serious financial trouble?

  20. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    Look Charlotte is absolutely correct. The school boards own auditor noted an over payment of 700k to a vendor. The school board accepted a 200k payment.

    In addition to money being spent poorly. The second big issue is equity. Children going to public school are supposed to be treated equally. They are not. Some schools are brand new with all the equipment and resources and others are in shambles. No guarantee the bond will solve this.

    The school board is still hemorrhaging money. Our transportation costs are still way to high, lawn services are still to high, we have free loaders living on school property who have no contract to provide any services.
    We have an internal police department which does not provide any resource officers at schools, but is used for only covering up internal investigations. No charter school has their own police department. They call 911. I will repeat, the officer do not provide protection to students, resource officers are provided by the cities. Stop the hemorrhaging.

    Why can charter schools function with 30% less dollars per student. Charter schools buy and rent new buildings and still can make a profit. Where is all the money hemorrhaging from? We need to ask our selves, does Broward County schools still need a TV station. We spend millions there.

    We need to put that money in the classrooms.

  21. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    In Feb. 2004 I spoke to the Board and warned them they were mortgaging themselves too far out with COPS. They weren’t interested. Then the storm hit and now they’re crying poor.

  22. Robbing Peter to Pay Paul says:

    This bond and the additional funds (totalling $2.5 billion) that Runcie wants for our schools is a sad joke on the citizens of Broward County.

    Do our schools have deferred maintenance (i.e., important stuff that’s broke where there’s no $$ to fix it)? YES.

    Do our kids need better technology and facilities? YES.

    Is there a need for more student stations to be built near where the majority of our public school students live? YES.

    There’s no question that the need exists for this money – the question is whether this superintendent and the district is competent to administer this HUGE sum of taxpayer money? I think that answer is a resounding NO!

    How many millions could be saved now by selling off unused or underutilized assets that the school owns (and is paying annually for now)?

    For instance, you’ve got Coconut Creek high School why is nearly 1500 students below gross capacity and operating at only 48.8% of gross capacity, and Ely High School operating at 1555 underenrolled and at 57.3% gross capacity.

    There are dozens of schools operating tens of thousands of students below capacity and at around 67% enrollment.

    How do you justify keeping all of these schools open when some of them are near to one another and can be combined over the next 2-3 years, at cost savings into the tens of millions of dollars.

    You’ve got schools bursting at the seams in places like Pembroke Pines, Weston, Coral Springs, Parkland, Sunrise, etc. where there is continued development (which the District approved and obtained millions in impact and other fees) yet you have ghost towns in places where the STUDENTS AREN’T!

    There’s a reason that Publix builds 4 stores in a 5 mile radius in some parts of a region and then only puts 1 store in a 5 mile radius in other parts of a region (and closed down stores they acquired when they bought Albertsons, etc.) — you build and keep stores open WHERE THE CUSTOMERS ARE!

    I’ve listened to staff and school board members talk about the kids and parents as “customers” of the Broward County Schools — whether you like this phrase or not, it is accurate. The school district needs to keep their “customers” properly serviced or they continue to be lost to charter schools, parochial and private schools, and home schooling.

    And while it would be nice to keep all of our schools opened, staffed, and perfectly maintained, THAT IS NOT AN ECONOMIC REALITY!

    The school district needs to show that it can tighten its belt, make the hard decisions on closing/consolidating some facilities, and can actually be a good steward of the hundreds of millions of dollars they already receive. If/when they can do that, and can show that bond money (or sales tax money, or whatever) will be properly and wisely spent, then they deserve more funds.

    Until then, they can face the ramifications of past mistakes, poor decisions, rampant incompetence and corruption that the district has been known for in the past.

  23. School Board insider (ret.) says:

    Whoever Epic Fail and Robbing Peter to Pay Paul is (clearly the same writer) should come out and run for school board.

    Time to shake it up and we need someone with the guts to call it like it is. The students in the district have moved to the southwest and the northwest, and we either need to get rid of dying schools where they aren’t really needed anymore or watch as more and more money is siphoned away from the communities that need space to prop up some of the dinosaurs out east,

    It won’t be politically popular in Nora or Rosalind’s districts but it’s a reality.


    You hit on something. Why there are the same number of teachers, principals, administrators, classrooms and schools when more than 30,000 students have quit the traditional system to attend charters?

    Schools need to be closed and combined. Staff needs to be whittled away by attrition. Superintendent Runcie knows this so why doesn’t he act?

  24. count them twice says:

    the sbbc Consultant Walter Keller Inc. (google it) is desperately turning over stones and rocks and pea gravel to count more ‘bedrooms’ to increase impact fees for all of broward to fund more schools
    the residential units are tallied up – single family res, condos, etc., etc.,
    this is done every three years and they did the last study for sbbc
    Population of residents and public schooled students is 1,785,000 and 225,000 or so in 2013-2014 school year but in 2000-2001 it was 1,623,000 pop and 244,000 students

    they need dwelling units counted over last 60 years to confirm SBBC is getting their $$
    as more students leave the county or attend prvate or charter schools

    get ready for a millage increase, bond approved or not!

    Final report due later this year and then impact fees will soar

  25. School Board insider (ret.) says:

    Buddy, he and the SB won’t act because they are concerned about cries of racism.

    The communities that will face the greatest impact are minority majority communities in the Eastern part of the county….Deerfield, Pompano, parts of Fort Lauderdale, certain parts of Coconut Creek, etc. These areas have seen a large outflow of students to Charter Schools and have some schools operating near or at 50% capacity.

    But combining and closing schools there, while financially appropriate, will be viewed as abandoning the community.

    I’m sorry, but facts are facts. Those schools are falling apart due to “deferred maintenance” and there is no money to keep them running. So you have schools with non functioning hvac systems, mold, roof leaks, etc. in the east, and schools that are overcrowded out west.

    We need some honesty in the district in 2014…..there are numerous teachers and staff that leave every year through retirement or otherwise. Don’t fill the positions, close 3-4 high schools, a few middle and elementary, start fixing up the surviving schools and sell the others, and we can start having some faith that the district has a clue of what it is doing.

    Until then, we will see a slow death of the district, with more and more funds used towards debt service on existing schools, fewer funds towards capital expenditures, repairs, etc.

    What will happen when Weston, Pines, and Parkland finish development and there are no more impact fees coming to the district to prop up their budget,

    We are in the precipice Buddy, and absent some bold leadership, this district might be insolvent within a few years. How sad that Broward County Schools will have fallen so far that we might need to be run by the State like bankrupt Detroit..

  26. Becky Blackwood says:

    Would it be possible to move District offices into these abandoned or below capacity schools and save money on rental costs or sell office spaces? Also I suggested a construction high school two years ago which Miami Dade has now created where the school is devoted to college prep in architecture, construction, engineering and vocational training in all of the trades associated with these fields plus staff to man the offices for the students who graduate from college in these fields above. Not every child is college bound but needs to learn a trade to be financially responsible through their lives.
    Look at creative educational trends for those students who will not be attending college that could be started in high school rather than waiting until they graduate and pay a high tuition costs for other schooling. Our vocational schools charge for their classes.

  27. Still living in the past perhaps... says:

    Broward is opening a construction program through Sheridan Vocational at Sunset School in fall. They have been discussing it for months.

  28. Ha Ha Ha says:

    According to the Property Appraiser, the School Board’s downtown headquarters building is worth $52.5 million dollars. If Becky Blackwood’s suggestion to move District offices into abandoned and below capacity schools could provide enough capacity to free up that entire high-rise, selling off that building would provide more than 6-1/2% of the total that would come from the $800 million bond. Perhaps a lot more, if the Property Appraiser’s estimate turns out to be way too low for a sparkling office tower that sits right next to the Courthouse and is therefore of great interest to large numbers of very well-heeled lawyers…

  29. bigger question says:

    Not only would that benefit the school board, but the county and the city would get a very valuable piece of property back on the tax rolls.

  30. good idea says:


    good point on hi rise headquarters
    sell it
    then tear it down and
    Put the New Federal courthouse there
    problem solved x 2 problems

  31. Becky Blackwood says:

    To Still Living in the Past:

    Sunset School has a capacity of 128 students, approximately 6 classrooms. Doesn’t sound like such a large commitment if you include all of the areas I mentioned, i.e., architecture, construction, engineering, trades of electrical, mechanical, plumbing, fire safety and also inspections. CAD classes could be taught there, too. Discussing a subject and putting it in reality are two different things. I spoke about it in my campaign in 2012 and now there are discussions about it.

  32. Becky Blackwood says:

    With computers today, moving offices into vacant schools or those with low capacity would not be a hardship with teleconferencing and would save money also on transportation costs with people traveling from site to site. But first, you would have to centralize all of the departments information; probably something still under discussion.

  33. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Weak charter school oversight leads to fraud and mismanagement
    by Laura Clawson, Daily Kos
    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

    Charter schools benefit from a massive double standard, taking public money without being subject to the regulations or oversight applied to traditional public schools. That lack of regulation and oversight has a cost, in students’ educational experiences and in dollars. More than $100 million, as a new report from the Center for Popular Democracy and Integrity in Education shows.

    The report identifies six key types of abuse […] While some of the most egregious cases are found out, leading in some cases to prison sentences as cited above, we have no way of knowing how many similar situations haven’t yet come to light. And in most cases, a prison sentence for the wrongdoer is all very well, but it won’t get back the money that was supposed to go to educating kids. That’s why the report calls for oversight agencies with teeth, able to catch fraud and mismanagement and actually do something about it; for charters to face the same transparency requirements public schools do, including following state open meetings and open records laws; and for charters to be governed by elected boards including parents, teachers, and, for high schools, students. Right now, in too many states charters are like the Wild West. Charter advocates like that when it lets them cut costs, increase profits and keep teachers non-union and as powerless as possible, of course. That’s why we see so many state legislatures rapidly expanding charters without expanding oversight. They may not like straight-up theft, but it’s a risk they’re willing to run for all the other benefits of weak oversight.

  34. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Developers eye Miami-Dade School Board headquarters, surrounding land
    The School Board could look to sell its headquarters and surrounding land, or partner with developers on a redevelopment project.
    BY DAVID SMILEY, Miami Herald, May 24, 2014

    A half-dozen developers — including a few big names — have interest in a revived School Board plan to potentially sell or redevelop close to 10 acres near downtown Miami.

    The six parcels include the School Board’s administrative headquarters and the WLRN studio, three parking lots, a parking garage and a building on Biscayne Boulevard that houses the iPrep Academy. The collective value of the land, just to the north of Interstate 395 and the Adrienne Arsht Center, is listed by the property appraiser at about $28 million.

    Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said he initiated a competitive process two months ago to gauge interest and — with soccer star David Beckham reportedly considering some of the property for a soccer stadium at the time — to force potential bidders to go through a formal process. […]