CAP Supports Duval County School District Ad Valorem Millage Referendum

CAP announced its support of the Duval County School District Ad Valorem Referendum to increase funding to enhance art, music and athletic programs, attract and retain highly qualified teachers and staff through additional compensation, and provide proportionate funding for charter schools.  

CAP’s mission is to empower every child’s creative spirit, elevate arts educators in their field, and advocate for access and equity in arts education. For these reasons, the organization endorses the referendum.

A group of students singing

CAP Chorus Students from Jacksonville Heights Elementary

The proposed Ad Valorem Referendum, if passed as currently written, would provide much-needed funding to support art, music and athletic programs and the hiring and retention of expert teachers and staff through additional compensation in Duval County Public Schools (DCPS). This programming, combined with the experiences provided by CAP, would ensure more children receive quality arts education opportunities that prepare them for tomorrow’s workforce, facilitate healthy self-expression and nurture future leaders. 

“Arts education is essential for every child’s academic achievement and the development of life skills,” said CAP President & CEO Kimberly Hyatt. “Research shows that strong arts programs consistently lead to higher student performance, which is why CAP supports this referendum that will increase funding for arts programs in our public schools.”  

In partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, CAP administered the Landscape of Education in the Arts in Duval (LEAD) survey in 2021 to evaluate access gaps and resource needs in all Duval County public schools. In its findings, 53% of principals indicated having only $0.01-$3.99 to spend on the arts per student per year and 82% stated they needed additional arts resources such as supplies and equipment. Most notably, CAP found that schools with more arts programming and arts educators have higher school performance grades. 

Bubble chart reflecting DCPS arts resource requests: Supplies & Equipment: 82.42%; Dedicated Arts Budget: 62.64%; Additional Arts Staffing: 51.65%; Arts Integration: 50.55%; Curriculum Assistance: 25.27%; Mentorship Exchange: 20.88%

LEAD survey results show a majority of administrators and arts educators express the need for access to additional supplies and equipment, dedicated budgets and increased staffing to enhance arts programs in schools.

Research shows that involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking and verbal skills. On average, children who participate in CAP programs for one year: 

-Score seven points higher on standardized tests
-Achieve higher grade level proficiency
-Perform better in science
-Receive half as many behavioral violations 

Over a 10-year period, 97% of CAP students were promoted to the next grade level and 84% strengthened communication skills with peers and adults and increased “grit” indicators such as class participation and task completion. 

Why support the millage referendum? CAP LEAD Data Analysis Confirms 82% of School Principals Need Additional Resources for Arts Education Share on X

CAP is a nationally recognized nonprofit provider of quality visual and performing arts instruction for school-aged children in Northeast Florida. In its nearly 30-year history, through private/public partnerships with DCPS and other community organizations, it has provided more than 31,000 students with innovative visual and performing arts education. With nearly 108,000 students enrolled in DCPS (FLDOE Student Enrollment Counts 2021-22), CAP is currently able to reach a fraction of the children in our community who could benefit from the proven results of arts education.   

“Investing in the arts is an investment in the future of our youth and in our community,” said CAP Board Chair Kristine Cherek. “The arts improve the lives and academic performance of students, strengthening Jacksonville’s future workforce and our economy.” 

For more information about the LEAD survey data, click here, and for more information about the millage referendum, visit 

CAP Alum Henry Supports Duval County Millage Referendum

Hear from Henry, a CAP alum and arts advocate, on why supporting the Duval County Ad Valorem Referendum is important for arts education and for our community’s children.

For media inquiries, contact Nan Kavanaugh, Senior PR & Communications Manager, Wingard at or Jennifer Clements, Director of Marketing & Communications, CAP at