NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Officials with Miami-Dade County Public Schools are pushing to renew a referendum to help fund school safety and increase staff pay.

Proponents of Ballot Question 210, one of the issues South Florida voters will be deciding in November, argue a “yes” vote could help improve education and safety at Miami-Dade County’s schools.

“The school board has placed this referendum renewal on the November 8th ballot,” said M-DCPS Superintendent Dr. Jose Dotres.

“This is an opportunity for this community once again to appreciate and invest in our children and our classrooms and support the core technology of what we all believe is the promise of the future,” said Miami-Dade School Board Member Dr. Steven Gallon III.

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., said she also supports the referendum renewal.

“I’m here today to fight for children, to fight for teachers, to make sure that they get what they deserve,” she said.

Leaders from across the education spectrum met Thursday morning at Madie Ives K-8 Center in Northeast Miami Dade to ask people to say yes to 210 on the Nov. 8 ballot.

“It’s an investment in people: the people that instruct and educate our students, the people that keep our students safe and secure in our schools,” said Dotres.

The levy would raise about $436 million, at a cost of about $250 per year for a Miami-Dade homeowner, and set the tax rate at $1 million over four years.

One hundred percent of the money would go to teacher pay and student safety, as well as police presence at all public and charter schools. All the funds would be monitored by a citizens’ oversight committee.

When asked why taxpayers should vote yes on the ballot measure, considering high prices in South Florida and skyrocketing inflation across the country, Dotres replied, “The performance of the schools within the community impact the local economy, and we are the school district that has delivered time and time again. You can say our outcomes are sustainable.”

Moreover, Dotres said, “The most important element of this renewal is our ability to compete, our ability to provide the wages, the compensation, the salary that teachers deserve and our school police officers deserve.”

The current referendum is set to expire in June of 2023. If it doesn’t pass, district leaders said there will be drastic cuts.

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