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Miami-Dade School Board Referendum

The school board referendum asks voters whether they are willing to raise taxes to help fund raises for Miami-Dade teachers.

Here’s how it reads:

Shall the School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida, levy 0.75 mills of ad valorem taxes for operational funds (1) to improve compensation for high quality teachers and instructional personnel, and (2) to increase school safety and security personnel, with oversight by a Citizen Advisory Committee, beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2023?

This question is asking voters to approve an additional tax (all county residents already pay a school board tax) to help fund raises for teachers and to also pay for things like additional security at schools.

The extra ad valorem tax (just legal jargon for property taxes) will add up to a little more than $140 for the average homeowner in Miami, but what you pay will vary based on your home’s value.

There could be up to a 20 percent increase to some teachers’ salaries, and there are plans to increase salaries for teacher’s aides and counselors as well. That extra funding could go a long way in helping teachers afford housing near their schools and to offset additional costs they take on to purchase supplies.

Also, as it stands, the funding from the tax increase would not apply to local charter schools. But school board superintendent Alberto Carvalho has expressed some interest in negotiating terms that would provide funding beyond public schools, according to the Miami Herald.

If you vote yes, you’ll be supporting an additional school board tax to help fund teacher raises.

If you vote no, you’re voting against the tax increase and it’s unlikely teachers will get a raise in the near future, since there isn’t enough money in the budget to fund it otherwise.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to provide additional information on charter schools.