On April 20th, the Leon County Children’s Services Council voted to approve funding for 17 programs, projected to cost over $1.7 million in taxpayer dollars for 2023 summer programs. See the list below.
In total, CSC Leon received 42 applications from 40 entities requesting funding in excess of $5 million across the two service lines. Each application was independently reviewed by external evaluators.
During the meeting, the CSC Council engaged in a lengthy discussion reviewing the presentations related to funding for learning and food service programs. Council Member Mr. Jones noted his concern that services may overlap in certain neighborhoods and communities. Mrs. Green stated, “There was just no way for us to plot the zip codes and the places so we’ve noted that for next year.”
The Council decided the majority of the funding will go towards learning services. Several council members stated concern over a lack of funding for food services. However, a large portion of the learning programs will provide food.
Ms. Green stated that she is “very proud” of the selections that were made. She went on to say that, “This year’s application cycle was more stringent in that we were clear about the threshold for the types of programs that we wanted, and the outcomes that we are wanting to expect.”
A public speaker, who was identified as a former director of the U.S. Department of Education, Upward Bound, stated, “70% of the children fail the reading test… that has been going on for 40 years. Parents can’t read, nor can their grandparents and the kinds of jobs that are available now for children to build wealth require them to be able to read.”
Also, the Council approved a $294,000 budget for Ms. Green to use at her discretion, with the requirement that she must use the funds to retain legal counsel when needed.
The next CSC Leon Governing Council Meeting will be on May 18th.