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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco schools face $7 million fix for $4 million class size fine



Pasco County school district officials face a $4 million fine for failing to meet Florida's class size rules this year. They can reduce the amount by 75 percent if they submit a plan to the state by Feb. 15 showing how they'll comply next year.

Although the plan is not yet complete, the bottom line figure is shaping up. To meet the mark, district officials project they'll need to spend $6.9 million to hire 126 teachers.

Board members said they fully intend to meet class size in 2012-13. But they worried that the cost of compliance, plus the $1 million fine, would further pinch a district budget that already faces the loss of $22 million in non-recurring revenue sources such as federal "Edujobs" money.

The Florida House version of the fiscal 2013 education budget shows Pasco gaining almost $18 million in funds over this year. But chief financial officer Olga Swinson noted that the amount is contingent upon the district's enrollment growing by 1,170 students. The district's planning office projects a decrease of 98 students next year.

Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 2:22pm]


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