jacksonville public education fund

Outside of the Duval County Public Schools building
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

New research from the Jacksonville Public Education Fund shows that Duval County is doing well to retain teachers overall, but turnover is disproportionately affecting low-income students and students of color.

Sign outside of Robert E Lee High School on some of the school campus.
Via News4Jax

Melanie Love graduated from Jacksonville’s Robert E. Lee High School in 1979. She was junior class president and student body president during her time at the school. 

Outside sign of Robert E. Lee High School.
Via News4Jax

The Duval County Public Schools district is looking for financial help to rename six schools named after Confederate generals.


The Jacksonville City Council is holding a hearing Tuesday on whether to allow the public to vote on a half-cent sales tax increase to help repair and replace the Duval County School District’s aging school buildings.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Tuesday on First Coast Connect featured guest host David Cawton, reporter for The Jacksonville Daily Record. Ahead of Wednesday’s Downtown Investment Authority meeting he spoke with DIA Executive Director Aundra Wallace and Visit Jacksonville President Michael Corrigan. The DIA will be evaluating three submitted proposals for a new convention center (01:28).    

Monday on “First Coast Connect" we talked about education with Duval County School Board member 

Becki Couch and Jacksonville Public Education Fund executive director Trey Csar. We heard about telemedicine with Triage Logic CEO Charu Raheja. Cole Pepper reviewed the Jaguars selections in the NFL draft, and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s Piotr Szewczyk talked about an upcoming free concert during Wednesday’s Artwalk.  

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

People’s perception of public education in Duval County continues to be at odds with reality in some key areas, according to the fourth annual Public Education Perceptions Poll sponsored by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund.

School Lunches

It’s a little-noticed move on Capitol Hill but one that could affect many thousands of kids and families in our area.

House lawmakers are quietly rolling back school lunch laws passed in 2010 which guarantee free lunches and after-school meals for children in high-poverty areas.

Jacksonville Public Education Fund

Fourteen Duval County school teachers found out Tuesday they’re semifinalists for 2016 Teacher of the Year.

The semifinalists were selected from the nominees from every public school in the county.

The list includes eight elementary school teachers:

·       Emma Araya, Arlington Heights Elementary

·       Faylene Blake, Greenland Pines Elementary

·       Stacy Cribb, Sallye B. Mathis Elementary

There’s still room at this weekend’s ONE By ONE education convention for anyone interested in improving Jacksonville schools.

The fourth annual community conversation, hosted by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, is on Saturday.

Fund President Trey Csar says the conversation will focus on the idea of education equity.

“We really look at equity through both a racial and a socio-economic lens,” he says.


The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is looking for a few hundred people who want to help improve the schools. 

The organization has begun accepting applications for its fourth annual One by One Convention to be held Saturday, Jan. 23. 

JPEF President Trey Csar says this year the conversation will focus on equity.

  The Jacksonville Public Education Fund released its annual public education perceptions poll this week.

The results found that most Duval County residents support a small increase in taxes to support public education.

We discuss the numbers with JPEF President Trey Csar.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Duval County Public Schools wants your gently used instruments. The district is partnering with the Jacksonville Symphony, Jacksonville Public Education Fund, Jacksonville Public Library and Florida Blue to ensure students in need are able to participate in school music programs.

School Board Chair Ashley Smith Juarez says she herself benefited from playing the alto saxophone in school.

Duval County Public Schools

Duval County Superintendent Nikolai Vitti outlined his strategies for keeping charter enrollment down at a School Board workshop, Tuesday.

Charter schools get public money, but they are run by private groups. More than 11,000 Duval students are enrolled in charters. That’s about 1,500 fewer than the district expected and budgeted for.


Payne Elementary
Duval County Schools

The Duval County School Board has approved a grant to pay teachers who help with literacy.

Also at its Tuesday night meeting, the board decided it’s open to hearing public comments at more of its meetings.

The grant of just over $2 million is from Quality Education for All and administered through the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. Quality Education for All is a fund of private money used to improve public schools. The grant will be used to pay reading interventionists, teachers who work in small groups with kids who are behind in literacy.

Rhema Thompson

Nearly half of Duval County residents consider test scores and school grades to be the most important factor when deciding on a school, but the majority say they don't know very much about either, according to a recently released local poll.

Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) unveiled results from its second annual Education Perceptions Poll Wednesday morning.

Cyd Hoskinson

After months of discussion, the Duval County School Board approved the plan to turnaround the district’s struggling middle schools.

Board members voted unanimously to approve the highly-touted middle school reform plan.

“A lot of times, the kids get lost in middle school so part of this is individualizing the kids, making them feel like someone really cares about them,” School Board Chairwoman Grymes said.  “It’s a tough time for kids. Middle school kids are very confused.”

Table 3. Districts by lifetime earnings and years to high annual salaries Rank: 98 District: Duval County (FL) Years to adjusted maximum salary benchmark ($68,000): 24 years Adjusted starting salary: $39,059 Adjusted ending salary: $69,427 Adjusted lifeti
National Council on Teacher Quality

UPDATED 11:30 a.m.: This story has been updated with responses from Duval Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.

A new study shows lifetime earnings for Duval County Public School teachers rank among the lowest of the nation’s largest school districts.

According to the report by the D.C.-based National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), the district lands in 98th place out of 125.  

Trey Csar standing in front of presentation screen
Rhema Thompson / WJCT

Nearly half of all rising sixth and ninth graders in Duval County Public Schools are not attending their neighborhood school, and a sizable portion are now attending charter schools.

That’s according to a months-long study on local school choice released Monday morning by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF), an education advocacy and research policy group.

Jacksonville Public Education Fund

The new school year is about a month away, along with an unprecedented new performance incentives program in Duval County Public Schools. However, with just a few weeks to go before the initiative begins, the details on how the incentives will be administered remain unclear.

Lucy Gray / Flickr

As the number of charter schools in Florida grows, how well are these schools performing?


About half of all new teachers leave the field within five years. Duval County businesses and community groups are trying to find a solution.

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

Quality Education for All, or QEA, is a $50 million effort aimed at improving student achievement in 36 of the area’s toughest schools, and over the last 10 years it's generated nearly $40 million in local private funding. Those behind it call the effort unprecedented, but not yet sustainable.

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

For some the multimillion dollar philanthropic effort known as Quality Education for All is strong sign of support for a community that has lacked it for all too long. But for others, it is another set of promises and plans that will lead to disappointment.

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

In part one of our Quest for Quality series, we’ll hear from educators at one of the 36 schools being impacted by Quality Education for All, as well as individuals in the nonprofit and business world about the genesis and purpose of the multimillion dollar investment.

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

An agreement reached between Duval County Public Schools and Duval Teachers United has set the stage for an unprecedented incentives program for educators, district officials say.

Jacksonville Public Education Fund

Nearly $20 million in private funding has been approved to go toward recruiting and keeping the “best and brightest” educators in Duval County, and even more could be on its way.

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

Yesterday, Duval Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti announced that he would indefinitely put on hold his proposal to open the school selection process to all students across the district.

Patrick Donges / WJCT

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is the latest group weighing in on Duval County’s open enrollment debate with its own recommendations.

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

Before he even entered high school, Joseph Frencl knew he wanted to teach math. The calling hit him in his 7th grade pre-algebra class.