Duval County Public Schools Launches “Read it Forward Jax”

Duval County Public Schools Launches “Read it Forward Jax”

Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) is proud to announce a comprehensive reading initiative aimed at raising the literacy rate of every student inside Duval County public schools. The “Read it Forward Jax” campaign will partner city, business, faith based and non-profit leaders throughout the community to share in helping teach Jacksonville’s children about the importance of reading.

Residents, Lawmakers Sound Off About Bill Requiring Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

Residents, Lawmakers Sound Off About Bill Requiring Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  Governor Rick Scott signed a bill Tuesday that will require people who receive government assistance to take a drug test in order to receive benefits.

"The goal of this is to make sure the taxpayers aren't paying for someone to take illegal drugs," Scott said.

The law requires every person who applies for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program to pay for the drug test. If the test comes back negative, then the state will pick up the cost. If it's positive, the person loses benefits for one year.

"In some ways I think it's a good thing," agreed 36-year-old Jacksonville resident Casandra Greene.

Greene depends on public assistance to feed her eight children. She said she understands some people abuse the system and she hopes the law will make them think twice.

But Greene thinks it's too bad those people have to hurt parents like her who are trying to do right by their kids.

Scott Approval Rate Hits New Low

Scott Approval Rate Hits New Low

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott's approval rating has dropped to a new low, although he's been on the job for less than five months.

A poll released Wednesday shows Florida voters disapproved of the way Scott's been doing that job by a 57 percent to 29 percent margin.

The Quinnipiac University poll, though, shows the Republican governor has plenty of company. Voters rated the GOP-controlled Florida Legislature about the same. They disapproved of lawmakers' work 56 percent to 27 percent.

Scott and the Legislature each are down from 35 percent approval ratings they got in a similar poll released April 6. Pollsters called 1,196 registered voters on cell and land lines May 17 through 23. The poll has an error rate of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

Support Children's Health in Duval County, Keep PE in Our Schools

Support Children's Health in Duval County, Keep PE in Our Schools

On Wednesday, May 18, 2011, the Duval County Public School Board began making recommendations to Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals for the 2011-2012 budget. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association understands the school board is working with the best intentions and is in an unfortunate financial situation.

However, the American Heart Association is concerned increasing the class size in art, music, and PE would greatly reduce the quality of instruction.  In addition, it is possible afterschool sports and activities might be reduced or even eliminated and without afterschool transportation many students with working parents would be unable to participate. Students in the lowest family income brackets would be disproportionately impacted and we know these families are often vulnerable to both high rates of obesity and high dropout rates.

Voters with Disabilities Vote by Absentee Ballot

Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland announces that the courtesy of curbside voting for physically handicapped voters is no longer permitted.

Curbside Voting was a courtesy the Supervisor of Elections staff would provide to voters who were unable to come into a precinct because of physical limitations. To assist these voters on Election Day, two precinct poll workers of different political parties would carry a ballot out of the precinct to the voter. Once the voter had marked his or her ballot both precinct poll workers would cast the ballot through the Optical Scanner like all other voters.

State Takes Action Against Companies Soliciting Fake Energy Audits

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced today the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has filed suit against Unlimited Energy Solutions, Inc., and nine individuals for violation of the Florida Telephone Solicitation Statute. The lawsuit was filed as a result of an investigation of numerous complaints received by the Department in regard to potentially illegal sales calls.

Early Voting Begins Monday

 Early Voting Begins Monday

Jacksonville, Fla. -- Early voting for Jacksonville's 2011 Unitary General Election begins Monday.

Voting is open Monday through Friday from ten to six, and Saturday and Sunday from noon to four.

Early voting ends Sunday May 15.

Here is a list of locations where you can go to cast your ballot early.

    1) Duval County Supervisor of Elections Main Office - 105 East Monroe Street

    2) Duval County Supervisor of Elections Branch Office - 5200-2 Norwood Avenue

    3) Beaches Library - 600 3rd Street, Neptune Beach

    4) Highlands Library - 1826 Dunn Avenue

    5) Mandarin Library - 3330 Kori Road

    6) Regency Square Library - 9900 Regency Square Boulevard