Port Authority tables plan to donate $5M to save 3 Fla. schools

Port Authority tables plan to donate $5M to save 3 Brevard schools

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

Canaveral Port Authority commissioners tabled a plan Wednesday morning that would have donated $5 million to the Brevard County School District to help save three schools from shutting down.

Instead, commissioners voted to study what, if anything, the Port Authority can do to help.

Port officials met with the School Board to consider giving $5 million to keep Gardendale Elementary, South Lake Elementary and Clearlake Middle open for two more years.

"So far, all we know is there is interest in making a donation. The first thing we need to do is understand if it will be legal for the port, given the port charter, to make a donation. The second thing is to know whether we have the financial strength to actually do that," port Commissioner Tom Weinberg said before Wednesday's meeting.

The Brevard School Board voted in February to close the three schools at the end of this school year after voters rejected a half-cent sales tax increase in November. The School Board says it's in a $30 million budget deficit, and it estimates shutting down the schools will save $4 million.

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