Duval County Public Schools discusses goals and issues ahead of back to school

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — On Wednesday, Duval County Public Schools addressed the public about its goals for the upcoming school year, while mentioning some incoming changes.

First and foremost, the district outlined an academic focus on improving literacy.

“We will be working with Read Jax on a community-wide initiative to improve literacy for all of our children,” said DCPS interim superintendent Dr. Dana Kriznar.


The district also outlined the ongoing bus driver shortage, with 49 spots still unfilled.

“That would mean that we have 49 routes that would not have drivers”

Meanwhile, DCPS is also experiencing a shortage of teachers, with 258 teachers still needing to be hired, though there were more than 400 vacancies at this time last year.

“We are getting those vacancies filled because we are able to pay teachers more,” said Dr. Kriznar with a smile. “We thank the voters of Duval County.”

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And at Wednesday’s press conference, DCPS officials said they do believe the district’s current political climate regarding the debate over the African American History curriculum, as well as books, does play a role in teacher shortages.

“I think there are a lot of effects on people’s willingness to join this school district. And that would certainly be one of them,” said the interim superintendent. “I know that they take it into consideration”

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Nonetheless, it’s full steam ahead into the 2023-2024 school year, with brand new AI technology called Evolv weapon protection now installed in all DCPS high schools. The technology uses radio waves to detect weapons while highlighting the school district’s ongoing commitment to safety.

“We will introduce an additional layer of protection whether it’s AI or traditional methods to keep our students safe,” DCPS police chief Greg Burton added.

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