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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Okaloosa School Board members set aside funds for their own use



money-handout.jpegWhile Florida school districts struggle to maximize the use of every dollar in their budgets, one School Board gave members thousands of dollars each to use at their discretion.

Each Okaloosa School Board member can use their $75,000 to help schools buy things they cannot afford in their regular budgets, such as computers and band instruments, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports. The money comes out of the district's capital funds, and cannot be spent on general operations.

One board member objected to the funds, suggesting the expenditures should be subject to more scrutiny. She was overruled by the majority, with board chairman Rodney Walker saying the schools might otherwise not get some smaller items purchased with the funds at all.

Question: Why not? Couldn't the board simply budget the money for such purchases, rather than set up a system where board members get to look like they're giving gifts? Interesting. Does this happen in other districts? Should it?

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 6:36am]


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