JPEF announces support of 1 mil property tax increase for teacher compensation

3/1/2022

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) is proud to join the Duval County School Board in asking voters to approve a 1 mil increase in property taxes to support teacher compensation.

JPEF’s research over more than 10 years shows overwhelming community support of increased teacher pay as a top priority and clear statements that residents would support an increase in taxes that directly impacted teacher compensation.  

“Based on our research over the years and our current strategic priorities, we believe that fair and competitive compensation for teachers will result in increased retention and recruitment of high-quality educators,” said JPEF President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune. “We know that improving the retention of high-quality educators is the most critical school-based factor in promoting student success and prioritizing teacher compensation appears to be the path forward to advancing equitable outcomes in our community.”

While Duval County Public Schools is experiencing its worst teacher shortage in five years, JPEF research from 2018 shows millennials as less likely to choose teaching as a profession and low pay as a key factor in this decision.

A 2021 JPEF report looked at teacher turnover and found that teacher turnover cost the district approximately $12 million per year. Beyond financial costs, teacher attrition can create inequities for students most in need of support and exacerbate gaps in opportunity these students already experience. Study findings indicate that teacher attrition does not affect all Duval schools equally. Schools serving larger proportions of students from low-income backgrounds and students of color are more likely to experience teacher turnover. 

Last year JPEF launched an initiative to recruit and retain 1,000 diverse male teachers by 2025 to address the racial disparity between teachers and students in Duval County. Low pay has been cited by teachers of color as a barrier to recruitment and retention.

“As we strive to recruit and retain highly effective, quality teachers in Duval County, we have to address compensation,” said Fortune. “Our students deserve to have well-compensated teachers who are going to establish careers in the classroom. We believe voters should have the opportunity to vote on this millage rate and show their support for our amazing teachers.”

DID YOU KNOW?

 

87%

of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2018-2019.