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Monitoring and Oversight of General Obligation Bonds to Improve Broward County Schools

Q2 (2023-2024)

This report, presented to the Broward Bond Oversight Committee on March 21, 2024, marks a significant milestone in the implementation of the SMART Program by Broward County Public Schools (BCPS), now in its tenth year. This program, aimed at enhancing technology, safety, arts, athletics, and educational facilities across the district through General Obligation Bond funds, demonstrates BCPS's commitment to fulfilling the promises made to taxpayers. The report outlines a revised completion expectation by October 31, 2025, incorporating the financial close-out and full expenditure of funds, reflecting the program's adaptation to unforeseen challenges while maintaining its core objectives.

A pivotal aspect of the report is the emphasis on financial oversight and accountability, highlighting the crucial role played by the Bond Oversight Committee and Florida TaxWatch in ensuring the prudent use of taxpayer dollars. These entities have been instrumental in navigating the program through financial risks and ensuring transparency in budgetary practices. The completion of Single Point-of-Entry projects and advancements in fire alarm and sprinkler systems underscore the program's success in enhancing school safety, a priority that became even more urgent following the tragic events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The report also showcases the completion of initiatives aimed at enriching the student experience through the acquisition of music, art, and theater equipment, and the improvement of athletic facilities, demonstrating BCPS's dedication to fostering a holistic educational environment. Moreover, the completion of critical infrastructure renovations and technology deployments has resulted in a significant improvement in the student-to-computer ratio, underscoring the district's commitment to integrating technology into the learning experience.

Financial management and strategic planning form a core part of the report, offering a transparent breakdown of the SMART Program's budget adjustments and expenditures. This section illustrates the district's strategic approach to managing financial challenges and ensuring the continuity of project momentum. Additionally, the report highlights the district's efforts to enhance supplier diversity and community engagement, reflecting a commitment to inclusivity and ensuring that the community remains informed and engaged in the program's developments.

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