A generational win:
61% of Escambia voters said "yes" to kids on Nov. 3


  1. What is a Children’s Services Council?​

  2. What is the Escambia Children’s Trust?​

  3. Why is the Escambia Children’s Trust Needed?​

  4. What Are the Benefits of Early Childhood Education, Detection and Prevention?​

  5. What Are the Effects of Children Not Receiving Quality Early Education, Detection and Prevention?​


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Children’s Services Council?

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What is the Escambia Children’s Trust?

Why is the Escambia Children’s Trust Needed?

What Are the Benefits of Early Childhood Education, Detection and Prevention?

  1. Low-income children who attend quality preschool are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college.
  2. Adults who complete early childhood education programs earn 7%-25% higher incomes than those who do not.
  3. Children with pre-K education are 2 times less likely to be arrested and are 50% less likely to ever receive welfare as an adult.
  4. A 50% reduction in high school dropouts translates to a net benefit of more than $125,000 over each graduate’s lifetime or $90 billion each year.
  5. A reduction in the number of juveniles housed at the State of Florida’s local juvenile detention facility would reduce the $3.3 million Escambia County spent in FY 2020 reimbursing the State its mandated 6.8% cost-sharing, which increased by $500,000 from 2019.
  6. A reduction in Medicaid charges would reduce the $5.3 million Escambia County spent in FY 2020 reimbursing the state its mandated cost sharing.
  7. Escambia County School District could repurpose the millions of dollars it spends annually on remedial services if these student’s needs were identified earlier.

What Outcomes Have Other Children’s Services Councils Seen?

The Florida Children’s Council tracks local CSC data on a host of measurements. Statewide, Council’s have:

  • Reduced juvenile crime and violence through youth support, mentorship and employment services including career-based internships and youth apprenticeships.
  • Increased kindergarten readiness and reading proficiency by third grade through access to high-quality early childcare, strengthened home visiting programs, and after-school interventions.
  • Reduced rates of teen pregnancy and fewer cases of child abuse and neglect through intensive, family-strengthening programs.
  • Increased health and mental well-being through expansion of mental health services, investments in substance abuse prevention, and improvement in access to oral health, vision services, breastfeeding support and nutrition education.
Specific improvements at the county level include:
  • CSC literacy initiatives in Martin, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are increasing the number of third graders reading proficiently at a faster pace than the state.
  • The St. Lucie County CSC showed a 63% reduction in youth alcohol use between 2000 and 2016, thanks to partnerships with several family-strengthening and after-school programs.

What Are the Effects of Children Not Receiving Quality Early Education, Detection and Prevention?

Children who do not receive quality early education, detection and prevention are...

How Does Escambia County Compare with Other Florida Counties in Related Statistics?

Per capita, Escambia County is among the highest in Florida in:

  • teenage pregnancies.
  • reported cases of child abuse.
  • juvenile arrests.
  • number of people in jail.
  • number of violent crimes.
  • length of incarceration.
  • Black infant deaths.
  • drug and alcohol abuse.
And it costs $33,000 to keep one person in jail for one year.

What Is the Next Step to Establish the Escambia Children’s Trust?

Tell your friends, family, and neighbors to all VOTE YES for kids the general election. The Escambia County Commission approved an ordinance to place a referendum to establish the Trust on the November 3, 2020 general election ballot. The referendum needs a majority vote of Escambia County voters to establish the Trust. PUT KIDS FIRST. Go straight to the end of the ballot, vote YES for the Escambia Children's Trust, then fill out the rest of the ballot.

How Is the Escambia Children’s Trust Funded?

  • The Trust, if approved by voters, will be funded by an additional one-half mill (0.5 mill) of taxable ad valorem tax on the property’s taxable value after all exemptions.
  • The average cost for an Escambia County homeowner is $40 per year.
  • The average cost for the owner of any other type of property is $67 per year.
  • Obviously, larger property owners will pay more.
  • The additional 0.5 mill combined with the 6.6165 mills the county has collected since 2014 would be a combined 7.1165 mills. This is less than the 8.017 mills the county collected in 2008 and slightly more than the 6.9755 millage rate the county collected until 2014.
  • Further, by state law, the annual taxable value on an owner-occupied residence can only increase by the amount of the CPI up to a maximum of 3%. It has recently been less than 3%.
  • The additional 1⁄2 mill would not be collected until 2022.
  • The Trust will have sustainable funding with a ten (10) year life that is controlled locally.
  • Its funding comes directly to the Trust and is not dependent upon the federal, state, county or city government.
  • Click here to learn more about the limitations on the ad valorem tax
  • Click here to learn more about what the Escambia Children's Trust's focus areas would be
  • Click here to learn more about how Escambia County compares with other counties around the state

Would the 0.5 Mill Ad Valorem Tax Be Permanent?

Is There Anything That Cannot be Funded?

Yes, Florida statute prohibits the Trust from funding:

What Would Be the Trust’s Funding Focus?

  • The final priorities would be established by the Trust’s governing board with recommendations from the public and following a comprehensive assessment of countywide needs by an independent evaluator.
  • Generally, funding would be targeted to improving outcomes in areas in which Escambia County ranks lower than the state and/or nation overall.
  • Of specific concern in Escambia County, compared to Florida, are these statistics:
    • Higher rate of infant deaths and deaths of children ages 5-9.
    • Higher percentage of low-birthweight babies.
    • Lower rate of Gold Seal (accredited) childcare programs.
    • Lower rate of kindergarten readiness.
    • Higher overall juvenile arrest rate of children under 18.
    • Lowest ranking on the state child well-being index since the index debuted in 2016; in 2019, Escambia ranked #47 out of 67 Florida counties.
Three general areas have emerged based on critical needs and service gaps in Escambia County. These areas are not listed in order of importance. Final funding decisions would be made by the Trust governing board with public input.
  1. Children are Ready to Learn and Succeed: school readiness services and family supports for young children are designed to foster a nurturing, safe and healthy environment at home and at school that improves every child’s readiness for kindergarten.
  2. Children are Developmentally on Track: a countywide, prevention-focused network is aligned toward identifying and treating the developmental needs of infants, toddlers and young children with a diagnosis, delay or disability before they enter kindergarten.
  3. Children are Supported in School and Life: after-school and summer programs, career-focused internships, and evidence-based mentorships work together to enrich school-day experiences for adolescents and teens while providing youth development services that reduce juvenile crime.

How Were the Trust's General Areas Determined?

How Will Potential Recipients of Funding Be Expected to Demonstrate Results?

  • State statute emphasizes the need for data and evidence of effectiveness to play a significant role in the allocation of CSC funding.
  • While there is no single definition of what it means for a program, policy or practice to be evidence-based, one framework widely used by CSCs is based on criteria used in the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the What Works Clearinghouse, which evaluates the effectiveness of educational programs for the U.S. Department of Education.
  • These standards were designed to help organizations and school districts identify evidence-based programs that could be supported with federal funds, reflecting a goal similar to the evidence-based expectations for CSCs in the Florida statute.
  • All programs funded by the Trust will be contractually obligated to set success metrics, collect outcome data, and share results with the public.
  • The RFP process and scoring categories will include a strong accountability system that includes program evaluation.
  • Programs will be required to collect outcome data beyond simple counts of people served.
    • For example, an after-school program that seeks to reduce crime rates and increase school performance will be expected to collect data from participants on police interactions, arrests and school activities such as absences, being tardy, discipline infractions, class participation, and academic performance. These findings could then be compared to similar students not in the program for evidence of effectiveness.
  • The Trust staff will visit each funded provider quarterly to assess how they are performing under the terms of the contract.

    • Any program not meeting its contractual obligations will be placed on corrective status.

    • Trust staff will work with that provider to get them back on a path to meet their contractual goals.

    • The provider’s contract and funding will be terminated if the provider is not able to be on a path to meet their contractual goals.

    Further, the provider must spend their own funds and submit a request for reimbursement showing documentation that the expenses are appropriate to their contractual goals, and these funds cannot be used to pay for the provider’s overhead; only the direct cost of the program that is being funded.

How Will the Escambia Children’s Trust Be Staffed to Evaluate Program Effectiveness?

  • T he staff shall include members who have experience in evaluation and measurement. They will work directly with applicants to ensure data and outcomes are tracked, and that all recipient organizations are continuously trained on evidence-based program evaluation methods. The staff will oversee evidence-based processes, including RFP proposal development aligned to accountability mechanisms, fiscal and program monitoring and data analysis.
  • A central goal of the Trust is to increase the ability of our provider community to use and collect evidence of program effectiveness. Technical assistance and training efforts will focus on helping local provider organizations develop outcome measures, collect and report data, implement evaluation plans; and use this information to adjust and improve services continuously.
  • Click here to learn more about the Escambia Children's Trust governance structure

What is the Escambia Children’s Trust Governance Structure and How Are Board Members Selected?

  • A board of 10 members will govern the Escambia Children’s Trust.
    • The composition is mandated by state statute; five members are appointed by the governor and five are positional county leaders including (1) the superintendent of schools; (2) a school board member; (3) the district administrator for the Department of Children and Families; (4) one member of the county governing board; and (5) a judge assigned to juvenile cases.
    • The governor’s five appointees must represent the demographic diversity of the county population.
    • By statute, the county governing body, after seeking public input, must submit at least three names per vacancy.
  • There are statute mandated reporting and transparency requirements.

    Each CSC:

    ● must submit Quarterly Financial Reports to the Board of County Commissioners and the public

    ● must submit Annual Programmatic Reports to the Board of County Commissioners and the public

    ● is subject to the same laws and requirements governing local government entities including annual filing of financial reports, public audit requirements, and operating transparently under Sunshine, etc.

  • Click here to learn more about how the Escambia Children’s Trust will be staffed to evaluate program effectiveness
  • Click here to learn more about how the Escambia Children's Trust funding focus connects to broader state workforce and economic development goals

How does the Escambia Children’s Trust Funding Focus Connect to Broader State Workforce and Economic Development Goals?

  • A record-breaking 26 million people will call Florida home by 2030, and 1.5 million more new jobs will need to be filled.
  • To prepare for this continued growth and ensure Florida remains competitive, the Florida Chamber Foundation recently released a blueprint for Florida’s future called Florida 2030.
  • “Improving Florida’s Talent Pipeline for a Better Workforce,” one of the six priorities outlined in the report, is directly related to the Escambia Children’s Trust, which would specifically address the following Florida 2030 goals:
    1. 100% of children are ready for kindergarten
    2. 100% of Florida 3rd-graders read at or above grade level
    3. 100% of Florida 8th-graders read and perform math at or above grade level
    4. 95% of entering high school students graduate within 4 years
    5. >60% of Floridians 25-64 have a high-value postsecondary certificate, degree, or training experience
    6. >80% of Florida’s workforce has essential employability skills
  • Click here to learn more about what the Escambia Children's Trust's focus areas would be

I Still Have Questions, Want Specific Info, or Want to Help. Who Can I Call?

We welcome your questions and feedback! Please call (850) 462-4790 to reach the Escambia Children’s Trust with any questions or to volunteer to help. Please leave a message if there is no answer, and your call will be returned as quickly as possible. You may also send an email to info@EscambiaChildrensTrust.org

How Can I Contribute to the Campaign to Educate Our Community to VOTE YES this election?

Thank you for your support! You can donate online here or by mailing a check. Please make your check out to Escambia County Children’s Trust PAC And send your contribution to: Escambia Children’s Trust P.O. Box 1255 Pensacola, FL 32591 *Please note your occupation on the check memo line to help us comply with election financial reporting standards. Thank you for helping to maximize the potential of all of our children!

What Are the Criteria for Funding?

  • The Trust will fund early childhood education, development, detection, prevention, and wellness programs to expand and enhance current services and include more children.
  • Funding is contingent on the provider’s ability to implement the proposed program, the soundness of the proposed methodology and reporting, how it will measure and be accountable for success, and its administrative and fiscal capability.
  • To be eligible to receive funds, programs must incorporate at least one of the following:
    • Demonstrate new measurable approaches and techniques based on research and/or promising practices.
    • Use existing approaches and techniques that are best practices validated by measurable, proven results.
    • Demonstrate cost-effectiveness and provide tangible benefits to children
  • Click here to learn more about how potential recipients of funding would be expected to demonstrate results

What Percent of Funds Will Go Into Direct Programing and Into Administrative Cost?

90% of funds will go into direct programing, 4% is paid to the County Tax Collector for collecting the funds, and 6% is used by the Trust for administrative costs.

What are the Reporting and Transparency Requirements?

Who Supports Creating the Escambia Children’s Trust?

The creation of the Escambia Children’s Trust is supported by a growing broad base of organizations, citizens, and community and business leaders, including:

  • The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce
  • Sheriff David Morgan
  • Escambia County Superintendent of Schools Malcolm Thomas
  • The Escambia County School Board
  • The Escambia Education Association
  • The Escambia Support Professionals who represent 4,000 teachers and support professionals
  • Six Pensacola City Council members
  • Century Mayor Henry Hawkins
  • First Place Partners
  • Baptist Health Care
  • Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital
  • West Florida Hospital
  • The Pensacola Young Professionals
  • Pastor Lonnie Wesley, III
  • Pastor Dave Snyder
  • Pastor Tyler Burns
  • Achieve Escambia
  • Citizens who wrote 187 letters of support to date
Click here for a complete list of current supporters.