The Downtown residential neighborhood where we live, work and play continues to grow exponentially and a neighborhood public school is a critical linchpin component to ensuring the viability of our current and growing community of families.
With a tax base of $20.7 billion, the area covered by the Downtown Development Authority produces $139.4 million in school district dollars and accounts for 34% of the City of Miami’s school district taxable dollars. Yet, we estimate that the number of non-choice student seats serving our area, but not even geographically in our area, is only 7,033. The fact that school infrastructure to support our population growth has not kept pace is highly problematic.
We continue to have questions regarding the following and have requested that the School Board help address:
- How much has been collected in impact fees and how/where are those funds being used?
- If concurrency was exceeded in 2015, why haven’t fees been collected?
- What is the legality of monetizing the School Board’s real estate assets when they would make ideal locations for a needed neighborhood school?
- With planned expansions of Southside Elementary and I-Prep, how can we designate seats for kids in the DNA footprint whose only recourse would be to apply for the lottery?
- How do we address the need to update the School Multiplier formula to reflect the demographic changes?
To recap, the Downtown Neighbors Alliance, representing residents of the Central Business District and Park West, has prioritized Education and the need for quality schools as one of our top agenda areas. In partnership with the City, the DDA, and the County, we’d like to work with you on finding the following solutions: Short-term: Where can we currently guarantee quality seats for our residents?
Medium-term: We are excited about the prospect of expanded Southside and I-Prep. However, unless we can designate seats at these schools for Downtown residents, DNA residents will not necessarily benefit from these magnet projects as we will compete in the same county-wide lottery with no guarantee that our children will have a school. How do we get seats designated?
Long-term: The current and projected levels of growth clearly indicate that the area will ultimately require a new neighborhood (non-magnet) school. How do we finally move this forward?