A Leon County planning group has finalized three main goals for a proposed Children Services Council.
If residents vote to approve the council along with a new tax, the money will go toward improving child welfare.
Executive Director of Whole Child Leon, Courtney Atkins says the community has long needed this assistance. She says when children “enter kindergarten not demonstrating the skills necessary to be successful that sets a trajectory for their life moving forward in school.”
Increasing school readiness by investing in early childhood education is one of the goals laid out by the group. Mental and physical health programs are also a priority along with job training and year-round food programs.
But Leon County School Superintendent Rocky Hanna says even with the new tax, funding for those programs will be limited.
“You have to be very careful of how those dollars are allocated," Hanna says. "You want to do a deep dive in the areas with the most need as opposed to just doing a broad brush stroke superficially over a lot of different areas."
The planning group will issue a report in January to detail its findings and voters will have a chance to vote on the council and new tax in the upcoming 2020 elections.