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Public school board in Florida shells out $1.2 million to help coax kids back to classrooms

The Duval County Public School board voted Monday to spend more than $1 million with a contractor to help pull kids away from charter and private schools

Updated: July 13, 2021 - 2:07pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The school board of Duval County, Florida, will pay a contractor over $1.2 million to recruit students to return to public schools.

Board members voted Monday night in favor of the measure.

As many as 30,000 students in Duval currently attend either charter, private or home schools, instead of their local public school, which is costing the county a considerable amount of money.

Duval County Public Schools say the system could gain nearly $15 million were it able to entice 2,000 students back to area classrooms because their state funding depends in large part on the number of attending students. 

As a result of the board vote, Tennessee-based Caissa Public Strategy was awarded a one-year contract worth more than $1.2 million. The firm, as part of the contract, will produce targeted ad campaigns to recruit students back to Duval public schools.

DCPS’s most recent financial report shows that 2015 and 2020, nearly 7,000 students became full-time charter school enrollees. About half of the district's 30,000 children who don't attend public schools attend one of 35 charters in the area.