School districts across the State are holding hearings on their budgets for next year. Our local paper had a full page notice of the 2016-17 budget for Alachua County. There are some questions we can all ask our individual districts:
- What is your district’s per student funding by school for 2015-16, and how and why would this change for next year?
- Are there either local or state inequities in funding policies that the district has identified?
- What factors impact individual differences in school funding? Where are the greatest needs for increased funding?
- Where are the under enrollment and over enrollment schools? What are the plans to balance enrollments?
- What is the funding priority for vocational education? How is the money distributed?
- How is Title I money distributed by school? Do all low achieving students have access to extra time/tutoring?
- How much time per week is allocated for art, music, PE, social studies?
- How is the district meeting needs for guidance counselors?
- What are district plans for online education?
- What is the district plan and priority for competency based education?
Your local leagues may have other specific questions. Use the blog’s ‘Comment’ space to share questions.
I saw an article about the Flagler school board budget review. They are upset about inequities in their share of local property taxes that are mandated by the State for redistribution to low income counties. They rank sixth in the amount of local property taxes required but 64th in thee amount returned to the district.
Another article appeared today about Highlands County which is one of the lowest income areas in Florida. They show the stark correlation between income and school grades. This is a county with student needs they cannot possibly meet by themselves.
- If you are interested in a reading a one page explanation of local education funding, see this Florida Tax Watch article.
- For a more complete explanation of the state and local funding formula for education, see: Education Funding Primer.