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New DCPS Grant Program helping schools

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Certain Duval County parents need to check their child’s backpack. A chance to earn millions of dollars for your student’s school could be inside. It’s part of a federal grant program to help improve the educational experience.

Last year four schools received a $2.5 million grant.  That money has been put back into those schools in really big ways.

Here’s how it works.  Families who live on federal property, like a military base or subsidized housing project, don't pay property taxes.   A portion of school funding is through property taxes.
So this is really a reimbursement. Parents can help by just filling out a form.

Ramona Boulevard Elementary School and Stockton Elementary are two of four Duval County schools starting this year off a little better, thanks to monies received as a direct result of this short survey. It is money normally lost because of taxes that can't be collected from federal properties.

"The Federal Impact Aid program is one of the oldest funding programs for school aged children," said David Pinter, the Director of Choice Recruitment at DCPS.

As Pinter explains, getting money back from the feds will be a huge benefit to our local schools. $2.5 million was reimbursed last year. The possibilities this year, could be endless.

"This is money that is just waiting for us to go be plucked from the federal government. We just need the help," said Pinter.

And parents, that's where you come in.

Be sure to check with your students because this survey should have already gone home with them, along with their report card. You might be wondering how many of these properties are right here in Jacksonville. On the back, you can see a list. Naval Air Station Mayport is listed, that's just one- plus the housing communities.

On the form, you'll fill out your child's information, including where they go to school and if they
live on federal property. When it gets down to your information, you'll indicate whether you're active, full-time duty, or if you're a civilian or a contractor working on any of the listed properties. 

The money reimbursed last year has added more books, better technology, plus a lot more to improving students' education. Having been a school principal, Pinter knows the importance of getting parents involved for the greater good.

"As a parent, you want to supply and give everything you can to your children. These additional funds will be phenomenal inside of each school," said Pinter.

David Pinter also explained to me that some parents may be concerned about their information being put on a form. He says no matter what, that information does stay private and it is not circulated anywhere.

 


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