WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Hundreds of teachers, school staff, school board officials and allies rallied outside the Palm Beach County Board of Elections today, the site where the votes of 380,000 residents were counted after last November’s elections. The results of a local referendum made clear: Voters chose to increase their taxes to support investment in the county’s neighborhood public schools. Despite those results, a bill awaiting consideration in the state Senate would divert some of those new funds away from neighborhood schools, directly defying the will of the people.
“This is ultimately about fair elections, transparency and investing in our kids’ future,” said Justin Katz, president of the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association (PBCCTA). “The people of this community agreed to pay more taxes to make their schools better — they didn’t agree to let their legislators push their own agenda behind closed doors, and take those tax dollars and send them elsewhere. This defies the public trust, and it undermines our entire electoral process.”
Passed by the state House under the cover of darkness during a late-night session, House Bill (HB) 7123 would require Senate action to move forward. If the bill becomes law, it could invalidate the language of local tax referendums and redirect funds intended for district-operated neighborhood schools.
The PBCCTA is working with other organizations to keep the funding as designated in Palm Beach County, for neighborhood public schools and students.
Find photos of today’s rally on Facebook.
CONTACT: Justin Katz, President, Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association, (561) 827-0407, firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association is a professional members’ service organization committed to the empowerment of teachers and to the advancement of quality public education.