'Drain on public schools:' DCPS loses tens of millions of dollars to charters

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — New details show just how much of a financial challenge Duval County Public Schools is facing as it announced cuts of more than 700 positions.


DCPS and the local teacher’s union, Duval Teachers United, blamed an increase in charter schools and falling enrollment in traditional schools.

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“It’s a drain on public schools when we have to share funds that were sent to the district,” Tammie Brooks-Evans, DTU’s president, said.

A representative for the district said on average, a student who leaves a traditional school for a charter school takes away about $7,200 in tax dollars. If you multiply that by the 10,000-student drop in traditional school enrollment, that’s a $72 million loss over the past five years.

RELATED: Duval County Public Schools could eliminate over 700 positions due to lack of funding, enrollment

State leaders have pushed school choice with vouchers for charter schools. DTU said it will continue to get worse unless changes are made on the state level.

“Until that happens, I see this becoming a thing that snowballs and gets worse every year we see this happen,” Brooks-Evans said.

The union said a two-week budget process will start Monday when school principals will figure out which positions are cut. Union leaders said they hope to move cut positions to already open positions within the district.

“Just stay strong. We are with them in this process to make sure everyone has a place to land — to have a new position.”

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