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Duval County schools not selected for “Schools of Hope” funds in initial round, can re-apply

Our students deserve every opportunity to receive the best education possible. Often times, additional funding can provide resources that make excellent education more attainable. At yesterday’s meeting, the Florida State Board of Education selected eleven schools to receive funding under House Bill 7069’s “Schools of Hope” program, which awards schools with up to $2,000 per student to use for services such as after-school programs and mental health support.

Fifty-eight schools across nineteen districts applied, including five in Duval County: Arlington Heights Elementary School, Arlington Middle School, George Washington Carver Elementary, George Drive Elementary School, and Ramona Boulevard Elementary School, although Arlington Middle and Ramona Boulevard withdrew after state requests for more information. The law permits funding for up to twenty-five schools.

Commissioner Pam Stewart announced that the competition will be re-opened for the remaining eligible schools, including those not selected during this round, to apply. All previously submitted applications are available for review at the FLDOE website.

As mentioned in our previous post, there was concern that districts which voted to sue the state for alleged constitutional violations in HB 7069 would be overlooked in the selection process but three of these districts — Miami-Dade, Bay and Palm Beach — had schools chosen to receive the funding. Stewart stated that the lawsuits were not considered when evaluating Schools of Hope applications.

Details for the next round of selections, including the deadline for applications, have yet to be announced. Encourage Duval County’s eligible schools (Arlington Heights Elementary School, Arlington Middle School, George Washington Carver Elementary, George Drive Elementary School, and Ramona Boulevard Elementary School) to apply for Schools of Hope funding so that our students can receive resources and support to aid them in reaching their academic potential.