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ACCPTA Supports One Mill for Alachua County Schools

During the recession in 2008, Alachua County Public Schools were in the difficult position of having to
cut back on art and music teaching positions and librarians due to funding cuts. Other vital school
programs and positions, including school counselors and nurses, career and technical education and
magnet programs, and classroom technology were also at risk. The community saw the need and
stepped up to help by passing a One Mill property tax to keep these programs and positions in our
schools.

The “mill rate” describes the amount of tax payable per dollar of the assessed value of a home or other
property. Each mill represents the amount of taxes paid per $1,000 of property value. The One Mill has
been renewed twice since it was originally approved, and amounts to an average cost of $7 per month
for the average homeowner
.

The One Mill is up for renewal this year, and will appear on the ballot on November 3, 2020.
Since it was first approved in 2008, the One Mill has generated nearly $150 million in revenue for our
schools, which has been used to fund art and music teaching positions (including bands and choruses),
school counselors, librarians, career and technical programs, and academic magnet program teachers. It
also ensures we have nurses in every school. It provides critical classroom technology, including
projectors, learning tools, and technicians to support that technology. Overall, around 324 teaching and
staff positions are funded each year through the One Mill
.

Because of COVID-19, our schools are now facing a financial crisis even worse than in 2008. Even with
the additional funding provided by the federal government to cover PPE and staff training, the district is
looking at a potential loss of around $16 million this year, possibly more. Before the pandemic, Florida
was one of the lowest states in the nation for public school funding, ranking 45 th in per student funding.
This makes the One Mill even more critical now, especially as it ensures we have school nurses and
counselors that are needed to protect the physical and mental health of our students. The One Mill has
also funded thousands of laptops and internet hotspots that were distributed to local families recently
to support online learning during the pandemic.

If renewed this year, the One Mill would be spent in similar ways as in the past. The ballot language that
was approved unanimously by the School Board recently includes support for the following:

  • School nurses
  • Music, art and drama programs
  • School library programs
  • School counseling programs
  • Band and chorus programs
  • Academic magnets
  • Career technical programs
  • Updated classroom technology

Without the One Mill, these programs are at risk of being cut.

ACCPTA believes that all of the positions and programs funded by the One Mill are critical to providing a
high-quality education to all Alachua County children. We proudly endorse the One Mill campaign and
encourage all Alachua County voters to VOTE YES on November 3!

For more information see http://yesforonemill.org/


Florida PTA position statements that address the areas impacted by One Mill:

Health and Wellness

Children’s Mental Health (1992) (2012)
The Florida PTA urges the Legislature to fully fund a statewide comprehensive system of
children’s substance abuse and mental health services that must include: Prevention programs
which serve children from birth to preschool, in preschool programs and earlier; In-school
student assistance programs to provide short-term intervention; Access to individual, family and
group counseling in convenient settings and times; Intensive home-based services which
address the needs of families in their natural environment; and Residential treatment, including
crisis stabilization, inpatient facilities, therapeutic group and foster homes and post- treatment
services.

Mental Health Support in Florida Schools (2017)
The Florida PTA and its constituent associations call upon state and local policymakers and
school districts to employ evidenced-based best practice ratios of school counselors, school
psychologists, school social workers, and school nurses, who are most qualified to provide
school-based mental health services. Florida PTA also urges the necessary resources and
supports be provided to ensure students have access to the proactive continuum of mental
health services and they be incorporated with a strong family engagement component.

Guidance Personnel (Counselors and Occupational Specialists) (1980) (2012)
Recognizing the importance of early detection and treatment of small problems before they
become major, and realizing that any learning problem, including an emotional one is a
deterrent to a child’s educational progress, the Florida PTA strongly supports the continued
expansion of the elementary guidance program in Florida schools. The Florida PTA supports the
full implementation of a guidance and occupational specialist program utilized to provide
prompt, academic, and personal counseling to students in all secondary Florida schools.

Prevention (2001) (2012)
The Florida PTA urges the Legislature to fully fund an array of coordinated and integrated
prevention services to help build strong families that raise their children to be healthy,
productive adults.

Registered Nurses for Schools
The Florida PTA encourages and supports complete funding to supply a registered professional
nurse to every one of the 2.8 million Florida public school students, a trained school health aide
in every Florida public school, and to include future allocation formulas to increase nursing staff
to keep pace with student enrollment.

Cultural Arts

Arts in Education Essential Curricula (2004) (2014)
The Florida PTA recommends every school district place greater emphasis on arts education and
increase opportunities for student participation in the arts incorporating the Florida Sunshine
Standard approved by the State Board of Education. The Florida PTA urges that unless a teacher
has specialized skills in the arts or is a recognized professional in their arts specialty, the arts be
taught by teachers certified in their field specific arts subject area and
Be aligned with the National Standards (No Child Left Behind) and the Sunshine State Standards.
The Florida PTA urges the State Legislature to include and fully fund Arts instruction without
cutting funding from existing programs as part of the PreK-12 curriculum at all schools
Career and Technical Education

Career and TecHnical Education

Career and Technical Education (2019)
The Florida PTA provides information to its members and others with respect to the benefits of
career and technical education for students at all levels of academic achievement, as well as for
the general public. In addition, the Florida PTA urges the Florida Legislature and the United
States Congress to increase funding for career and technical education programs, including
registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, to provide for appropriate market-
driven compensation for career and technical education instructors, flexibility in the expansion
of career and technical education pathways, and recruitment of a diverse population of program
enrollees so that all of Florida’s residents will have the opportunity to access, fully participate in,
and contribute to the state’s economic prosperity.

Public School funding

Education Funding Awareness (1996) (2012)
The Florida PTA directs its Board of Directors to provide information and training to its PTAs and
County Councils on the history, the current status, and processes surrounding education
funding. The Florida PTA urges its PTAs and County Councils to work within their communities to
facilitate understanding of education funding issues at the state and local levels.

Funding (1989) (2012)
The Florida PTA urges the Legislature to place priority on the basic education programs and
ensure that the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) be adequately funded to guarantee an
equal educational opportunity for all children. Funding formulas must assure equalization of
funding for all school districts.

Funding Children’s Programs (1991) (2012)
Florida PTA urges the Legislature to take whatever action is necessary to fully fund strategies
and programs that ensure the health, safety and education of the children of Florida.
National PTA Position – Remote Learning/Technology

Distance and Remote Learning for K-12 Students
National PTA believes that by supporting efforts to ensure that funding is specifically dedicated
to remote learning it will make it more accessible for all children to receive an equitable
education. Adoption of these measures will allow our schools to continue with educating K-12
students regardless of their socioeconomic status and during unprecedented times.

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