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Florida Budget Wrap-Up

The Florida legislature has wrapped up its special session and passed down a $53 billion budget. Less than 24 hours after the state passed its $53 billion budget, Leon County schools are seeing red, literally.

"What we really have is less than a million dollars in flexible dollars which means about a three million in dollars the red already," says Bill Montford, Leon County Schools Superintendent.

Even though Leon County is getting $6.9 million more than last year, $5.6 million must go to reducing class sizes, and $308,000 towards summer reading camps, leaving Leon County with a binding budget looking for ways to cut corners.

With personnel costs making up 85 percent of the budget, it's the most likely candidate.

"We'll be looking at a reduction in the number of people working for the school system, and those are going to be some tough choices," adds Montford.

Across town, the PACE Center for Girls is seeing green. Lawmakers restored nearly 100 percent of their budget, despite earlier fears of a $19 million cut.

"We are excited and thankful that they've put us back in the budget," says Debbie Moroney, from the PACE Center.

Which means the sun will continue to shine on the 19 Pace Centers across the state, and students like 18-year-old Jessica Topoleski.

"It's helped a lot of girls. It's helped me tremendously," says Jessica.

While the Leon County School Board takes on the task of "budgeting the budget," Debbie Moroney waits for the governor to sign it.

The Leon County School Board also saw a decrease in lottery enhancement funds of $560,000.


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