District likely to return to voters for funds

Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 11:22 AM.

The Gulf County School Board is likely to ask voters to again provide funding to bolster the operational bottom line in the spring.

With the one mil additional operating levy approved by voters nearly four years ago to expire at the end of the fiscal year in June and the bottom line for public schools shrinking to sliding property values and declining enrollment, board members expressed the very real need to ask voters to additional funding next year.

A mil is equal to $1 for every $1,000 in taxable personal property tax and the value of that mil has steadily declined over the past four years – worth more than $2.2 million when passed by voters the additional mil is now worth $1.3 million.

That means over the four-year life of the levy the district realized $4 million less in funding that originally projected.

In addition, declining enrollment means less funding in the per-student-based formula used by the state.

Superintendent of Schools Jim Norton said during a workshop last week that decision time is approaching for the School Board to return to voters for assistance or face its own fiscal cliff.

“In the coming months we are going to have to make some decisions,” Norton said. “We need to have consensus on the board on this and we need to get community support.

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