Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida unlikely to see any money for new school construction

TALLAHASSEE — There isn't likely to be any new money for school construction and maintenance for the next few years, Florida economists said Friday.

That's because state officials expect to receive less revenue next year from the Gross Receipts Tax, a tax on electric, telephone and cable bills that supports the Public Education Capital Outlay, or PECO, fund.

Adding to the problem, the state will no longer be able to sell a $250 million bond issue — and will have to pay down existing projects out of a cash account, said Amy Baker, director of the Legislature's Office of Economic and Demographic Research. The result: no new PECO money until 2014-15, according to the latest predictions.

For a time, public school districts, community colleges and universities relied heavily on PECO dollars to support new construction and routine maintenance. But the dollars have been steadily dwindling.

This year, traditional school districts did not receive PECO money. About $55 million went to the state's charter schools. Public colleges and universities received about $57 million.

In light of the projection, state officials this week stopped payments to some projects, including some that may only be halfway completed. Additionally, Gov. Rick Scott asked schools and colleges to return as much as $250 million to the state to cover other projects already approved.

"Due to this significant shortfall, it has become necessary for difficult decisions to be made on which projects may be funded and which must be discontinued at this point in time," Scott wrote in a letter that he sent out to top education officials Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Florida unlikely to see any money for new school construction 01/13/12 [Last modified: Friday, January 13, 2012 10:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charge in Florida

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a drunken driving charge in Palm Beach County, various media outlets are reporting.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  2. Young male hospitalized after shooting in St. Petersburg

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — A juvenile male was injured Monday morning in a shooting in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S, police said.

    A juvenile was injured in a shooting Monday morning in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S in St. Petersburg. (Zachary Sampson, Tampa Bay Times)
  3. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  4. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts

    Business

    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]
  5. Putin visits France, hopes to mend strained ties with West

    World

    VERSAILLES, France — On a visit likely to shape Russia-France ties for years, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin at the sumptuous Palace of Versailles on Monday for what the newly-elected French leader said would be "demanding" talks on Syria, the Ukrainian crisis and other …

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, is welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Palace of Versailles, near Paris, France, Monday. Monday's meeting comes in the wake of the Group of Seven's summit over the weekend where relations with Russia were part of the agenda, making Macron the first Western leader to speak to Putin after the talks. [AP photo]