Miami-Dade school district sets aside $4 million for repairs at Toussaint L'ouverture Elementary

County will hire 30 percent of workers from local neighborhood

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade Public Schools leaders are touting a $4 million project to fix up Toussaint L'ouverture Elementary.

"We promised that these dollars would be invested in all sectors, ZIP codes, of the community beginning with the neediest schools first," Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said.  

The project is funded thanks to a $1.2 billion bond referendum voters approved in 2012 to renovate aging public schools across the county.

The district has already spent nearly half the money, though not without controversy.  

 This time around, school board member Steve Gallon questioned whether the district's promise to hire minority vendors is being kept.

"We've been rather vocal with those concerns over the past 6 months since I've been elected," Gallon said.  

In March, Gallon visited Norland Elementary in Miami Gardens and noticed not a single black worker on the job that day. 

In response, the district said it would require contractors to hire at least 20 percent of workers within 5 miles of a bond-funded project. 

The district said it has spent $460 million, completed 137 major projects and hired 33 local contractors to complete projects in the past four years.

"We are nearly four years in, over $500 million spent and with respect to the obligation and commitment to the policy we have yet to be able give that accountability and transparency that was promised," Gallon said.