MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County Public Schools is looking for a financial boost from voters on Election Day to help pay for teacher raises and school security.
Referendum 362 asks to raise property taxes by 75 cents per $1,000 in taxable value, which would generate about $232 million a year for pay raises and security. For the typical homeowner, it amounts to about $12 a month.
Miami Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho says the school district plans to direct between 80 to 90-percent of the money to subsidize the salary increases and the rest would fund school safety measures, supplementing money already allocated by the state following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland.
Currently, the district is complying with the post-Parkland law through partnerships with municipal police forces, but some of those agreements are only valid for one year. Passage of the referendum, according to Carvalho, would allow the district to employ enough police officers to meet the state mandate for one cop on every campus without the necessity of relying on local law enforcement.
If voters approve the November referendum, the vast majority of the county’s 19,000 teachers would see a bump in their salary. Other school employees, including counselors, social workers and teacher’s aides, would also get a raise.
The ballot item says that the money would be collected annually for four years then the district would ask voters to approve the increase again after it expires in 2023.
Broward County voters approved a similar measure for that district in August, and Palm Beach County has a referendum on the November ballot.
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