Jacksonville, FL - Duval County’s Superintendent wants to put more than 1200 employees back in area schools, and he wants to fund it by slimming the district.
“The core of reform happens at the classroom level between a child and a teacher,” says Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti.
Part of his recently unveiled budget proposal reduces salaries and cuts positions at the district level in order to free up money and other resources to go directly to the schools. Some staff would be laid off, some given the option to fill the positions opening up at the schools, assuming the proper certification.
One priority area he would send these resources is to arts and music. Vitti tells WOKV students who are well versed and taught in these areas are also better critical thinkers. He says instruction in arts and music teaches skills that directly benefit the “core” measures.
“It’s part of the transformation and how we think about education,” Vitti says.
He would also boost the district’s Career Technical Education, aimed at students who decide not to pursue college.
“They [students] need the skills, the experiences through Career Technical Education to develop the skills to be employed after high school to receive a high paying job,” he says.
The third priority is on school safety. Vitti wants to divert more resources to campus security guards as well as Deans of Discipline. The Deans would be in every middle and high school, focused solely on mitigating problems on campus, reaching out to parents, and diligently enforcing the code of conduct.
“There’s someone there that follows up with them and that’s their sole job that gets at the root of why the decision [to act out] was made incorrectly,” Vitti says.
It’s not immediately clear how many layoffs and cut backs at the district-level would take place, however, we’re expecting to obtain more details by the end of the month.