The Board of Miseducation
Nice lesson for our kids! By Joy Prevor.
At the most recent Budget Hearing for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS), I spoke on the record regarding the misuse of impact fees.
For years, residents in the Downtown Neighbors Alliance footprint have wondered how it’s possible that the developers who built our condos paid such significant Impact Fees (intended to offset the impact of their development and ensure the correct infrastructure is in place for the new population of residents) and yet, our area has not seen the creation of one new student station for all the children produced by these new developments.
Accordingly, the most recent audit by the Florida Auditor General found that, instead of being used to create new schools, the majority of the impact fees collected by our school district ($17.7 million) were NOT used for authorized purposes. The impact fees were allocated to debt service.
MDCPS disagrees with this finding and has hired the firm Greenberg Traurig to defend their position. Just this year, the Legislature clarified existing legal requirements for the collection and expenditure of impact fees in Florida Statutes Section 163.31801, clearly stating that revenues generated by impact fees may not be used to pay existing debt or to pay for previously approved projects unless the expenditure is reasonably connected to, or has a rational nexus with, the increased impact generated by the new residential or commercial construction.
Regardless of the legalities, the funds are clearly not being used for the purpose which they were intended — to ensure that our neighborhood has schools for our children.
The following video shows Joy Prevor speaking about the misuse of impact fees. (A technical problem shows a brief blackout at the beginning, but the video continues normally after that.)
In reaction to my remarks at the School Board meeting, I was accused of being a racist and repeatedly threatened and told to “…be careful…”
How is it possible that a citizen speaking in a public forum could be bullied this way? What sort of lesson is that for the children and the public they represent?
Joy Prevor, Chair of the Education Committee, DNA.
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