Athletics Stoppage 'Not Unrealistic'; Duval Schools Meeting Begins | Politics

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Athletics Stoppage 'Not Unrealistic'; Duval Schools Meeting Begins
Politics, Schools
Athletics Stoppage 'Not Unrealistic'; Duval Schools Meeting Begins

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Duval school board met today to once again discuss budget woes following recent speculation that a lack of money would halt all school athletics next year.

Duval County Public Schools Board Chairman W.C. Gentry said over the weekend that if all the state budget cuts being proposed are made, it is a virtual certainty the upcoming school year will be without sports.

"We will be left with nothing but the core courses if we have to cut $97 million dollars from the budget," he said during a scheduled board meeting today.

Although any final decisions on budget cuts won't be made until legislators give final numbers in a few weeks, Gentry said the district is preparing for the worst.

"We can't have art, P.E. or anything if we have these kinds of cuts," he said. "We are not painting an unrealistic picture."

Earlier this month, Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals discussed how to handle a potential loss of $97 million. The loss would come as a result of Gov. Rick Scott's budget proposal which promised massive education spending cuts.

"We just can't take this size of a reduction without a huge impact on students," said Pratt-Dannals.

Pratt-Dannals and board members are urging the community to get involved with the budget process.

"We expect that by the time the legislature gets through, if the people will speak out, that they will put the money back in so we can have a meaningful school experience," said Gentry. 

There will be three community budget meetings to discuss the financial situation. All three will be at 6 p.m.

  • Atlantic Coast High School, April 4
  • Andrew Jackson High School, April 7
  • Ed White High School, April 11  
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