Broward’s school district will ask voters to approve an $800 million bond issue this fall — a referendum that will likely become a defining moment for the nation’s sixth-largest school system.
By unanimous vote, school board members on Tuesday began the voter referendum process by formally asking the state’s permission to put the issue on the November ballot. The state’s approval is expected to come quickly and easily.
It’s getting approval from county voters that will be the tricky part. The next six months will test Broward’s ability to community effectively and stay on-message — a task that historically has proven difficult for the district.
Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie is pitching the bond issue as an worthwhile investment — and one that pays dividends in a variety of ways.
“Everything that we do is linked to the quality of the schools in our community,” Runcie said. “Housing values, quality of life, the ability to attract businesses and families to our communities all rest on the quality of our schools, and our ability to invest and maintain them and provide our children with a world-class education.”
If the bond issue passes, Broward would receive a badly-needed infusion of cash for capital improvements and technology needs. Dozens of district schools are struggling with leaky roofs, for example, which creates mold risks.