Education leaders seek funding fixes as Florida lawmakers continue committee meetings
Florida's legislative committees return next week, with legislative budget requests from the state's primary education agencies slated for initial presentation.
Before the conversation begins, some leaders have begun conferring with their lawmakers, hoping to get some added support for their regular operations.
Some Pasco County school district officials, for instance, have met with members of their high-powered legislative delegation to suggest a return to the critical needs millage rate that districts were able to use in 2010. The local bump in property taxes required voter approval to continue an added year, and then it went away altogether. Lawmakers discussed revising it during the last session, but for capital projects only. Districts with tight finances have suggested the money could be better used as general funds.
It's just one of several ideas coming forward.
The Florida Association of District School Superintendents is recommending several moves that districts across the state have clamored for in recent months, many dealing with changes the Legislature recently imposed. The group is calling for an end to the requirement that school districts pay tuition for dual enrollment students, for instance, and also for a separate funding source for courses students take beyond the regular school day. It also wants the lawmakers to recognize the $480 million they set aside for teacher raises in 2013 is now part of the base budget for future years.
What priorities do you want to see the Legislature set for Florida education?