Audrey Gibson, Tracie Davis push for sales tax vote for Duval Co. schools
During the Jacksonville City Council agenda meeting Tuesday, members were incredulous at the late delivery of the Duval County Public Schools’ master construction plan.
They expected it Thursday, maybe Friday. They received it minutes before the meeting, a stack of 19 of them delivered to the reception desk in City Council offices.
Incredible chutzpah, thought some Council members. Especially given the district wants a special election in November to allow voters to decide on whether or not to authorize a half-cent sales tax.
Many are skeptical of the timing of the vote. Mayor Lenny Curry has asserted this should be on the 2020 general election ballot, rather than in a stand-alone, low-turnout election.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation requiring that such votes be on general election ballots starting next year; the Duval vote would be an attempt to circumvent that law.
The donor class (read: the Jacksonville Civic Council) believes that charter building standards and charter schools will lower the $1.9 billion price tag.
And Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is skeptical, not just of the referendum, but of the school district itself.
However, the school board position had its advocates too, and they packed Council chambers, to such a degree