MDCPS #GOBond Town Hall Meeting by Stephanie Brito

“The days of ‘turn off your device’ when you come to school are over,” said Alberto Carvalho, Miami Dade Superintendent, at the General Obligation Bond (GOB) Progress town hall meeting that took place at Miami Lakes Educational Center on August 28, 2014.

The superintendent, along with the rest of the school board, has taken the initiative to host a series of town hall meetings throughout the county in regards to the GOB’s progress.

The Bond Referendum 222 was voted in back in 2012 as a plan to enhance school facilities. $1.2 billion dollars is being used through the GO bond in schools throughout Miami-Dade.

On top of refurbishing schools and updating technology, the GOB has also benefited the community as a whole.

Councilman Tim Daubert sees the GOB as, “for the better, much for the better.”

“Part of the goal was also to stimulate the local economy,” said Chief Facilities Officer Jaime Torrens.

To support a growing sphere of small businesses, part of the 222 initiative is to employ these small/micro business enterprises to renovate schools.

“[Small businesses can] grow as we grow,” said Economic Development Officer Brian Williams.

The objective of the GOB is to holistically improve the way MDCPS students learn by not only improving the environment in which they learn, but also the communities in which they reside.

“We believe that we can be a force in improving the economic reality in Miami-Dade,” said Carvalho.

The progress of the GO bonds was evident in schools across the county as early as the opening of schools through projects such as the installation of new playgrounds, the demolition of portable classrooms and the distribution of tablets for seventh and ninth grade students.

In regards to how students use technology, Carvalho said, “They are consummate multitaskers…we wanted to create an environment that replicates the way they think.”

In the following years, schools across the county will continue to see improvements in their facilities, technology, and overall environment through funding from the GO bond.

“We’re just getting started,” said Carvalho.

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