Things are tough all over
If you thought per-student funding was going to shrink $86 (House version) or $116 (Senate proposal), think again. The latest recommendation from the legislature is to cut the funding by $142 per student, the AP reports (via Bradenton Herald).
Such talk has the Florida School Boards Association pondering whether to sue the state for failing to live up to its constitutional obligations for supporting education, the Naples Daily News reports.
The Florida Education Association has come up with one (not so new) idea, calling upon lawmakers to do what Gov. Crist suggested early in the game - shore up funding with the "rainy day" accounts, rather than slash school budgets, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
In the meantime, districts continue to prepare for the worst.
- Pasco officials, who already have (unsuccessfully) asked teachers to delay their step increases, plan to release a list of possible cuts today. That's one day after board members urged a discussion on priorities.
- Seminole announced it would let go some of its most senior teachers, ones it had recruited to stay after they had already retired, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
- Lee - which already has started laying off people - is cutting back hours of cafeteria workers, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.
- And Volusia, which already has announced the closure of seven schools, is looking at eliminating 271 teaching jobs and a pre-honors middle school program, among other options, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.
Lawmakers have said they expect to have a printed budget ready for consideration over the weekend. Education folks have said they plan to lobby their interests to the bitter end. Stay tuned.