Updated at 8:30 p.m.
The Duval County School Board unanimously voted to hold off on voting on new districtwide school identification cards at Tuesday’s meeting.
Board member Lori Hershey proposed the board defer the item until no later than the district’s June meeting due to uncertainty over the district budget.
“We have not discussed the budget for the 2017-18 school year and after spending time in Tallahassee it appears that we will be lucky if our funding for next year is equal to our fund that we had this year,” Hershey said.
A bill moving through the state legislature would significantly cut capital dollars for traditional schools.
The IDs come with a price tag of just over a million dollars for the initial purchase, although future costs would be lower, saving the district $1 million over a period of five years.
Board Chair Paula Wright said she supports the benefits of the cards, which would better track students’ activity by requiring students scan cards for lunch, when they get to each class or on the bus, and also to check out textbooks.
However, she supported the postponement of the item because the board will begin discussing the budget at a board workshop next week. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti is set to present performance data to the board so members can start strategically abandoning programs that aren’t serving students.
The Duval County School Board will vote on whether to approve new school IDs Tuesday.
They would allow the district to better track students’ activity throughout the day.
The new IDs would require students scan their cards on a card reader for lunch, when they get to each class or on the bus, and also to check out textbooks. The technology is the same used for hotel keys.
The district would store that information in a centralized database.
School volunteers and visitors would be issued printed scannable labels.
These IDs come with a price tag of just over a million dollars for the initial purchase of equipment, but the cost drops to less than $125,000 a year after that. Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti estimates a cost savings of about $1 million over five years.
Reporter Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.