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

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Job cuts are coming to Duval County Public Schools. The district could be eliminating an estimate of more than 700 positions.


An email sent Friday by the district’s superintendent cited a lack of COVID-relief funding and declining enrollment.

It breaks down to roughly 500 jobs at schools and almost 200 jobs at the district level that could be cut.

Superintendent Dr. Dana Kriznar said funding supported those positions in the budget for years.

It’s something school board chair Darryl Willie said they knew wouldn’t last forever.

“It’s definitely not one we want to be in but it’s a spot where we’re going to be able to retain our good teachers and quality employees within our system that we have,” Willie said.

Willie said a lot of those jobs are vacated positions they already budgeted for.

“With the district as large as we are we always have vacancies, so we will work to eliminate those vacancies first, there’s spots right now that aren’t being filled,” he said. “So, we can eliminate those and those count to those numbers. In addition to that you have retirement and other folks moving, going back and forth.”

The email also said DCPS is feeling the impacts of declining enrollment, saying they’re seeing a wave of students going to charter and private schools. An estimated 10,000 fewer district students are going into next year, compared to 5 years ago.

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“Since 2019, you’ve seen a lot of enrollment decreases with Duval County, whether it be charter, vouchers, or other choice options,” he said. “We’re not getting those dollars so you can’t keep the same amount of staff if you have less students in the buildings.”

Class sizes are expected to increase by at least one or more students at most grade levels. School board chair Darryl Willie said some teachers can handle the adjustment but they’ll look to make sure all of them are prepared. He wants parents to know their kids will be in good hands.

“We’re going to put a qualified educator in front of your kids, they’re going to be certified, they’re going to be trained they’re going to have professional development they will need,” he said. “We’re going to continue to look for any way we can pour additional resources into classrooms.”

Dr. Kriznar said in the email, “While we must make difficult decisions to operate with the funding we have, my pledge is to do all I can to support all of you, especially those of you personally impacted, to the best of my ability.”

The final budget isn’t expected to be approved until September.

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