Schools Face Challenge With Budget

By: Angela Salerno Email
By: Angela Salerno Email

School districts are receiving less money from the state. The District 8 Florida representative sites this as the short coming of a trickle-down theory.

Rising property values are increasing taxes, making a tight budget for everyone.

"The state is paying less now in terms of its share of education cost than we were eight years ago," said Rep. Curtis Richardson, (D) Tallahassee.

In 1999 the state provided 60 percent of funding for education. Now only 40 percent is being covered, forcing property owners to make up the difference.

"It forces local government school boards to raise property taxes in order to participate in the state funding programs," said Richardson.

Leon County schools have a number of ways to improve education; however, the current figures discussed for property taxes may have a heavy toll on the schools budget.

"We are going to have to cut back services if the dollars aren't made up somewhere else," said Merrill Wimberley, Leon County Schools Chief Financial Officer.

They are services to improve education, such as summer and after school programs. The lack of resources has many educators searching for money under every nook and cranny.

"Outside of lobbying to get more from the state we have no where else to go," said Wimberley.

Rep. Richardson believes the state must step in and invest more money in public education to reduce taxes at both the state and local level. The issue will be addressed during the legislatures regularly scheduled session.


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