Budget conference: Jacksonville School for Autism gets safety corridor funds

jessica baker
The structure will prevent student elopement walking between buildings on campus.

Jacksonville Republicans have successfully secured important safety funding for some of the city’s most vulnerable students as budget negotiations continue.

Sen. Clay Yarborough and Rep. Jessica Baker’s ask for $178,000 appears to be in the final budget, with the Conference Committee on Senate Education and House PreK-12 Appropriations agreeing to the funding level for a secure path to connect two buildings on campus.

Jacksonville School for Autism recently expanded due to increasing population of children with Autism. It is imperative that we build a safe walking corridor to support a secure area to access an additional 22,000 square foot building on campus. This safe school design will reduce the risk of student elopement while preventing intruders on campus,” reads the Senate funding request.

With students as young as 2 1/2 years old, the need for security is paramount, especially given the diverse student population that includes “re-vocation and vocational students at JSA as well as post-secondary students from other private and public programs … from the surrounding counties of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns.”

This is a very rare appropriations request for Baker, who made none her first year in the Legislature, and just two this year.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


One comment

  • MH/Duuuval

    February 28, 2024 at 10:35 pm

    Elopement, meaning to slip away from school and get into a predicament of some sort?

    If so, good for Baker and Clay who have been disappointing, so far this year.

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