The TaxWatch Research Blog

The TaxWatch Research Blog is a forum where our research staff can address topics and issues in a short format. Keep an eye on this space during Legislative Session for frequent posts making sense of the activity at the Capitol. 

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Monitoring and Oversight of General Obligation Bonds to Improve Broward County Schools: Q3 2021-22

SMART Program Quarterly Report Review for the Quarter Ended March 31, 2022

As Florida TaxWatch reports the Broward Public School District’s progress in implementing the SMART Program for the quarter ended March 31, 2022, the school year will have ended and students will have begun their summer break. The May 24 mass murder of 19 students and two adults at an elementary school in Texas will undoubtedly weigh heavily on the minds of Broward students and their families as the 2022-23 school year approaches.

The safety and security component of the SMART Program includes projects designed to limit access to each school through a single point-of-entry, which are in place at all Broward County public schools. Other safety and security projects include fire alarms and sprinklers, emergency exit signage/lighting improvements, fencing, and door hardware. These improvements are bundled together as part of active Primary Renovations projects, many of which are behind their original schedule and over their original budget. Florida TaxWatch is taking a “deeper dive” into the status of the outstanding safety and security projects.

Higher rates of inflation, higher roofing and mechanical/electrical/fire protection costs, and items that were excluded from the original scopes of work will undoubtedly continue to increase the costs of the active Primary Renovations projects. Florida TaxWatch considers controlling project costs and mitigating the additional financial risk to be the greatest challenge facing the District at this point as SMART Program implementation moves forward.

Florida TaxWatch is pleased to present the following report, which includes the Florida TaxWatch review of the District’s Bond Oversight Committee Quarterly Report for the Quarter Ended March 31, 2022. 

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