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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Want the money? Make these cuts



The Florida Senate put forth an education budget last week that aims to keep public school funding stable, rather than proposing dreaded and expected 20 percent cuts.

Within the details are some requirements that some would call micromanaging, while others would declare "It's about time." Check these ideas out. Districts would have to:

  • Lower school board member salaries to match legislators' pay, and reduce superintendents' salaries.
  • Limit all district employee contracts to 10 months unless expressly permitted by the school board.
  • Limit individual employee pay to $225,000 from state funds.
  • Have no district-paid employee cell phones or other wireless communication unless authorized by the school board.
  • Have no district-paid out-of-state travel unless approved by the school board.

The bill also would:

  • Limit Florida Virtual School to core curriculum courses only.
  • Revise the period for adoption of new textbooks from six years up to eight years.
  • Allow districts to use .25 mills of capital improvement tax revenue for general operations.
  • Require charter schools to comply with the class size amendment.

Looking for even more strings. How about this? The Senate would require districts that don't comply with the class-size amendment, follow rules for differentiated teacher pay, properly classify students for funding purposes or appropriately use capital funding to increase the local tax rate to pay.

The public notice would have to make clear that this was happening "because the district school board failed to comply with state law."

These should provide for some fun debate. Can't wait to see how the House deals with the ideas.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:19am]


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