Let's Do More for Our Students
Dear Parents and Staff,
I am writing to update you on Gov. Scott's decision to approve the state education budget for 2018-19. We were expecting more funding for our students than what was approved, especially since the state has billions of dollars available to fund both school security and classroom needs.
The state budget includes an increase of just 47 cents per student in flexible funding for our district. The Legislature also added several new expenses we must take on, but not the amount of money needed to cover those costs.
This puts our district in a challenging position. After we take out the funding and expenses that come from natural population growth in our district, we expect about $19.7 million in new funding. But we’re expecting about $35.8 million in new expenses. That gives us an expected starting deficit of about $16.1 million for the 2018-19 school year.
Those new expenses include things like adding more than 100 required new school resource officers, increased retirement contributions, increased health care costs, increasing utility rates, and so on. There are several other new laws that were passed, and we’re reviewing the impact they may have on our budget, but we don’t think they will come close to the $16.1 million we need – and they may even make our situation worse.
For months, we have been putting cost-saving steps in place across our district that have saved millions of dollars. Those steps will definitely help, but the amount of funding in this state budget is far lower than we had expected. I will keep you updated and involved as we build our district budget, and please continue to let our state leaders know you support funding for our schools – tell them “Let’s do more” for our students and our future.