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Broward school board wants taxpayers to chip in for better teacher pay, more security

Ballot question will determine whether to add $93 million to county coffers

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward County school board members voted Tuesday to ask you to dig a bit deeper into your pockets to help provide better school security and better pay for teachers.

Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runice described the proposal as a win-win situation, saying it would be an investment in our teachers and an investment in the community.  Because the state struggles with funding for schools, however, Runice said he needs taxpayers help to make the proposal happen.

"This year, we received a mere 47 cent increase per student. That is woefully inadequate in order to meet ... salary increases for teachers," Runice said.

The request set to be placed on the Aug. 28 ballot will ask voters for an additional 50 cents for every $1,000 in assessed property value. That means a homeowner with a $225,000 home and homestead exemption would pay about a $100 more each year.

The plan would raise about $93 million for the district.  That's money retired teacher Trudy Jermanovich said teachers deserve.

"Teachers have to teach no matter what is happening and we need to reward them more," Jermanovich said.

The request comes after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Feburary left 17 people dead. District officials said the money would also be used for school security.

Teachers in several states, including Kentucky, Arizona and Oklahoma, have gone on strike in recent weeks to demand better pay.

 "We are asking the public to provide some help so that we are able to continue to work with our municipalities to provide adequate funding, to be able to build the security infrastructure in terms of people, law enforcement in particular, to keep our schools safe." Runice said.


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