JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Jacksonville teaching facility bringing $20 million worth of resources to North Florida educators is in jeopardy.
Right now, Duval County Public Schools gives the Schultz Center $2.5 million a year. But Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti wants to reduce that drastically.
"It's life. Change is inevitable," said Deborah Gianoulis, President and CEO of the center. She's now bracing for that change after Dr. Vitti said he wants to chop her center's funding by 80%. It is a hit that she says would have huge implications.
"I don't think he would intend and I don't think his board would support shutting down a community institution that was so far ahead of its time and has brought so much value," she told Action News.
The Schultz Center is designed to teach the teachers. Gianoulis says it provides them training to better educate their students. But Vitti wants to see the district do that on its own.
"The Schultz Center Professional Development, although high level, is somewhat removed from the day-to-day reality of the classroom," he said.
Vitti tells Action News he thinks his teachers will learn more outside a training facility -- and that would save the district a lot of money.
"If I can provide the same type of training at a higher level at a lower cost I think most people would say that makes sense you should do that."
But Gianoulis says her center is more than a training facility. It's the culmination of a community's hard work to take educators to the next level.
"It says to the community that this vision you had that you would support our teachers and their professional learning and that we would do this as a community with our Schultz Center and university and philanthropic partners isn't what we want anymore," she said.
Ultimately, the Duval County School Board will have the final say. Vitti says he is confident he has the board's support.