First, he said the goal is to help boost grades at all schools by giving extra support to eliminate F-rated schools from the district.
“They raised the standards, but I know you,” he said. “Come Aug. 20 you will hit the ground running. You will inspire. You will lead.”
Carvalho also said the district is working to bridge the digital divide by increasing the technology in schools across the district through money raised and federal dollars.
“Access to technology is usually dictated by the ZIP code,” he said. “We can no longer wait another day.”
Using the district’s resources, including knowledge and facilities, to make added revenue is also a priority this year. Carvalho also said he is stressing more autonomy for principals, giving a select group more leeway to run their school.
But perhaps his biggest priority this year is to get everyone onboard with his plan to ask voters to approve a $1.2 billion general obligation bond to help improve Miami-Dade schools.
“Our kids deserve it, our teachers deserve it, you deserve it,” he said.
More than half of the district’s schools are more than 40 years old, a situation which is “unacceptable,’’ Carvalho said.
“I need your help,” he said. “I need you to get out there and sell this.”
Sharon Watson, the president of Miami-Dade County Council of PTAs/PTSAs said the council is on board with the $1.2 billion initiative.
“We don’t have a choice,” she said.
Watson, like many others, said Friday’s address was the perfect way to kick-off a new school year.
“It’s like what they say at the races,” she said. “And they’re off.”