Beshears: ‘As good a chance as there has ever been’ for port

Published: Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 09:45 AM.

For one component, the district is allowed to assess 1.25 mills for bricks and mortar, but can not use that money for any other purpose.

In Gulf County, that means the School Board must leave most of that 1.25 mills on the table while being forced to solicit support from voters for an additional mill to cover operating expenses.

“We need to have local flexibility for those capital outlay dollars,” Norton said.

Norton also said legislators should reexamine the so-called “wealth adjustment” in the state’s funding formula for public schools.

That adjustment – based on property values in the county – requires the district to collect more of its budget locally because the state sends down fewer dollars, even though declining enrollment and other factors have carved the district’s overall budget by more than $4 million in the past three years.

The district, Norton said, is pushing the limit on constitutionally-mandated class size/teacher ratios and has shed more than 20 percent of its workforce the past four years.

“Public education in this county is threatened,” Norton said.



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