The quality of public schools is a perennial issue for economic developers, and two CEOs who moved here recently from out of state offer diverging conclusions about Palm Beach County schools.
Scripps Florida scientific director Dawn Johnson told me this week that she has been impressed by the public schools here, as have other scientists working at nonprofit labs in Jupiter. Johnson said that when she drops off her kindergartener at public school, she sees a number of researchers from Scripps and Max Planck leaving their kids.
But Al Rabil, CEO of Boca Raton commercial real estate firm Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, suggested that there’s room for improvement. He said top executives make enough to afford tuition at the county’s prestigious private schools, but mid-level employees don’t.
“They need to have public schools that they’re comfortable putting their children in,” Rabil said during today’s meeting of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County. “If they’re looking at private alternatives, whether it’s $18,000 a year, $16,000 a year, $20,000 a year, it’s a big number.”
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