Today’s entry: I have complained (to my friends) for a long time about my portion of property taxes going to Miami Dade County Schools. The school taxes on my property are 37.5% of my annual property tax bill for 2019. As someone on Social Security, I am astounded by this percentage. Everyone I tell has no clue. I have at least 6 teachers and 2 school maintenance guys living within 2 blocks of me. Their pocketbooks have a vested interest, so they don’t care. The teachers and maintenance guys got full pay while nothing was happening during the early stages of COVID.
Bottom Line: Throughout the past two weeks, I’ve combined my theme of the pandemic, local elections having consequences with those closest to you most often having the biggest impact on your daily life, with a fire hose of information regarding schools.
Right along I’ve encouraged you to inform yourself and then others. I’ve asked that you engage civically. And I’ve done all of this knowing that it’s an uphill battle which takes me to your note. Now isn’t the time to give up. It’s the best time to get more engaged. Often, when you have entrenched special interests and status quo governance it takes a major catalyst, to bring about meaningful change. We saw this in the wake of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas in numerous ways. A complete overhaul in school security, gun control measures, and the start of a shakeup in Broward’s school board. What’s happening right now is another one. Families are now facing a one-two-three punch. South Floridians are struggling financially due to the pandemic/lockdown measures, having to facilitate a form of homeschooling while trying to make ends meet and still higher property taxes which will soon be coming in the form of proposed property tax increases. As you mentioned, those you’ve spoken with have been unaware of how much they’re paying in school taxes.
During good economic times when the average person’s quality of life is generally improving, it’s difficult to create concern and awareness on issues like this. Right now, when people are worried about how they’re going to pay the bills, including the mortgage, you’re more likely to find ears opening. If you can create awareness around you right now when those assessments are received next month and they’re higher, you have a recipe for change. Nothing in our society, this side of national security, is as important as the education of each generation.
What’s important about this moment is the opportunity and need. Those most harmed by the failing education establishment, no classroom options for their kids, higher taxes, and the status quo are those most vulnerable in our communities. This commonly includes minorities who often have voted for those who’ve made these decisions that are now causing significant harm. They need our help and deserve the information that’s not being communicated to them by the establishment of news media, school districts, and like politicians.
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