MIAMI (CBS4) – Alberto Carvalho can be seen running across Miami-Dade as if he were running on the November ballot himself.
On any given day you can find the school superintendent publically speaking, trying to motivate voters to get to the polls.
“I am not here to pitch you,” he told an audience gathered at a church in North Miami Monday night.
He then apologized to the crowd of all the times the school board let this community down.
Carvalho’s appearance has nothing to do with a run for office, but rather support he’s looking to gather for a $1.2 billion dollar bond, or tax depending on how you look at, to improve schools.
When questioned how much it would cost homeowners on their property tax bill he responded, “Considering the average household in Miami-Dade it is only $9.70 for the first couple of years. For the totality of the bond, no greater than $27 dollars. This is a small price to pay for a huge investment in our community.”
Online there is already a plan on where the money would go. Every school in the county is on it, including Auberndale Elementary.
CBS4’s David Sutta toured the school with school board member Raquel Reglado. She showed us firsthand what they are dealing with; an aging school where it is cheaper to destroy portables than fix. The water damage can be seen coming from above and through the windows.
Regalado explained they’ve been patching schools like this for decades.
“There is only so much paint and plaster without dealing with the plumbing, and the electrical and the roof. So we are going to have to make some serious decisions if this doesn’t pass as to closing schools for safety reasons,” Regalado said.
To add to the frustration, federal money is just sitting right now. Money for WiFi, computers and smart boards in every classroom.
“But because the facilities are more than 50 years old and they are not compatible from an electrical point of view, and we have so many water issues we can’t use that money,” Regalado explained.
The situation has led to an all out push to get voters interested in supporting their plan. Carvalho is hoping his record will convince those on the fence.
“For the past four year we have balanced the budget without increasing tax rates. In fact we decreased them every single year.” Carvalho said.
Whether you take an interest in this bond issue or not you are going to have the chance to vote on it November. To take a look at the complete list of how this is going to impact a school in your neighborhood go to: http://bondsforschools.dadeschools.net/Files/Final_Project_List_By_School.pdf
There is also PAC formed in support of the referendum. You can read more about that here: www.buildingfortomorrow.org