More than a hundred teachers, students and parents packed the Duval County school board meeting Monday night. They were urging the board to keep the $400,000 Teach for America program in the budget.
The program helps bring teachers to the district.
“Without Teach for America I wouldn’t be a teacher today,” a teacher said.
Room is at capacity for Duval Co school board meeting. This is the line inside @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/JmDguVCNAQ— Danielle Avitable (@Danielle_NBC4) May 8, 2017
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Group of people outside that security won't let into the building since it is too packed @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/ZkjClPDaZ8— Danielle Avitable (@Danielle_NBC4) May 8, 2017
The halls were packed as current and former Teach for America teachers, as well as students and parents, took to the podium and tried to sway the school board to continue to fund Teach for America.
“If you cut off TFA, those kids, once I graduate, won’t have the same impact that the teachers had on me,” a senior said.
As it stands right now, the majority of the school board wants to cut the program.
"There's no reason to cut this project. At this time, we don't have anything to replace it with and we don't have a budget to use this money for," school board member Scott Shine said.
Shine said with the large number of vacancies in the district, it would be hard to fill those spots without TFA.
"We're going to have to find and recruit at least 50 teachers to fill positions in the hardest schools to find teachers to work," Shine said.
Capacity is 212 for this room at Duval Co school board. There's a line outside this room too @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/J6p6wHBRYq— Danielle Avitable (@Danielle_NBC4) May 8, 2017
Dr. Vitti recognized that the majority of people here are to advocate for Teach for America @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/MLDGc5pRbY— Danielle Avitable (@Danielle_NBC4) May 8, 2017
And in within the next month, about 60 teachers are coming to the county for training with TFA and executive director for TFA Darryl Willie said it’s something the district needs.
"It's a pretty significant amount of teachers and to lose that and to not want that back, I think it would be a significant loss for our teachers and kids," Willie said.
The board is looking to cut the $400,000 program because of the cost.
"Programs like that help my daughter to flourish in her academics and if they take that away from her it's going to be bad for them in the long run," parent Shameka Glover said.
The school district has until August 1 to decide if they will keep Teach for America in the budget.
Shine said he has been getting a lot of support from the community to keep the program.
People started clapping and the Chairman announced that no applause is allowed @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/crk9ZEVjPq— Danielle Avitable (@Danielle_NBC4) May 8, 2017
Halls are packed inside the school board building. Everyone watching in the hallway on the tv @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/CZZMJ1FUU6— Danielle Avitable (@Danielle_NBC4) May 8, 2017
Public comment just started. Dozens of people are expected to speak on behalf of #TFA @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/xC9oyJx7sB— Danielle Avitable (@Danielle_NBC4) May 8, 2017
"We have quite a few cards and many of them are on behalf of TFA"- Paula Wright pic.twitter.com/aVewHyrvsL— Danielle Avitable (@Danielle_NBC4) May 8, 2017
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