While surrounding districts are shrinking (Pinellas) or projecting no growth (Hillsborough), Pasco County schools continue to project rising enrollment for the coming school year. The expected 1,211 new students is a smaller percentage rise than in past years, but it's still enough kids to fill a school. So Pasco's construction plans remain.
At 6 p.m. tonight, the School Board will consider budgeting to build three new schools - one high school and two elementary schools - during the current fiscal year. It also will review several renovation projects as part of the spending plan it has to approve by the end of September. Officials expect to have enough money to fund the capital projects.
But even with a 14 percent increase in the tax rolls, and more money in the operating budget than ever before, they harbor concerns that the new money won't cover all the enrollment growth. So tonight's budget hearing could turn into a discussion on cuts, nonetheless. It will be interesting to hear with the Board members say, and if anyone from the public will chime in the discussion. Check back later to see what happened.