MIAMI - Broward School Superintendent Dr. Peter Licata went on tour, checking out schools. He and the district have a tough decision ahead — how to deal with, a topic CBS News Miami reported on just last month.
"It's time to change, we don't have any money and we need to make sure we're not writing checks we can't cash," said Dr. Licata.
Right now, the district says there are about 50,000 empty seats county-wide, that student population fell from a high of 270,000 in the late 90s to about 202,000 now.
"We do have a lot of under-enrolled schools, but we also know the answer isn't, 'you're under-enrolled, it's time to close it.' That's the last option," Dr. Licata said.
The district says the decrease is due to more choices like charter schools or school vouchers, as well as changing demographics. "We're not bringing children into this county, it's an adult growth and the birth rate is under 2, almost flat," said Dr. Licata.
The board wants to repurpose 5 schools. Today's bus tour was to help decision-makers figure out possibilities.
"We do want to look at the K-8 model, I've had success with that. We also want to look at 6-12 model is it working, worth replicating? We'll look at technical centers, can we build on that? Even looking at potentially in-district charter schools, definitely some full-choice opportunities."
The next step is a series of town hall meetings in north, central, and south Broward to get community input. The district is expected to present a plan to the board by June.
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