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First Coast Connect

5/9/19: Proposed Tax Hike For Jacksonville Public Schools; Hearing Trouble; New Art Exhibit

The Duval County Public Schools Board voted this week to seek approval for a tax referendum this fall. 

The board wants voters to approve raising the sales taxin Duval County by a half-penny to finance renovations and construction in the district.

The new tax could raise an estimated $80 million a year for school buildings, including maintenance and repairs.  It is projected to raise at least $1.3 billion over 15 years. 

Related: Mayor Says He's Against Hold A November Referendum For A Proposed School Tax Hike

Duval Public Schools Superintendent Diana Greene joined us for a closer look. 

Hearing Loss

May is better hearing and speech month. Three out of every 1000 children born do not have normal hearing. Almost 95 percent of these children are born into families with normal hearing.

Historically, reading levels for this population have been very low.  

Audiologist Dr. Evonne long with the Jax Speech and Hearing Center said Thursday on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross that “our mission is to provide speech, hearing, and language services to the community to any individual of any age regardless of their ability to pay.” The Jax Speech and Hearing Center will be celebrating its FinFest on May 18 at Timuquana Country Club.

Noli Novak and George Cornwell Art Exhibit

Artists Noli Novak, an editorial illustrator at the Wall Street Journal; And George Cornwell, a fine art serigrapher, have a new exhibit opening at the Space 42 gallery this Saturday. 

Novak says that “through our experiences, as artists in graphic illustration and fine art printing, we unveil the imagery of mothers' little angels before they grow to mankind’s despised plunderers. They joined us with a preview of the show. 

The exhibit opens Saturday May 11 at 6 p.m. at Space 42,2670 Phyllis Street, Jacksonville, 32204. It is free and open to the public.  

Avery Latta-Raines can be reached at, 904-358-6317.  

School bus photo used under Creative Commons license.

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