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Florida school districts get reprieve on co-enrollment funding

During the Florida legislative session, Pasco County school officials had a top priority of protecting the nearly $1.5 million the district gets to cover the costs of high school students making up credits in adult education courses.

Lawmakers had threatened to do away with the "co-enrollment" funding, which was helping the district serve 3,125 students, as part of its budget balancing effort.

After much pressure from the district, representatives Will Weatherford and John Legg, both in key leadership positions, got the message. And they worked with the conference committees to restore the funding so long as the co-enrollment funding went toward core course credit recovery and dropout prevention, and each student was limited to two courses per year.

Now the district is singing the delegation's praises.

"Both Rep. Weatherford and Rep. Legg worked passionately and tirelessly to make this happen for Pasco's children," district spokeswoman Summer Romagnoli told the Gradebook.

Weatherford explained that he wanted to ensure districts like Pasco and Miami-Dade, which use the program heavily, would not experience a "double whammy" of lost funding through both regular per-student funding and co-enrollment.

"We worked out a deal," he told the Gradebook. "It's sad there are other cuts, but I'm happy we were able to prevent that one."