District prepares to reduce workforce

Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 10:04 AM.

“Again, Tallahassee is setting the terms and passing down unfunded mandates,” Norton said. “They get to look good and bad and they make us look bad and ugly.”

Compounding that is declining enrollment.

The district receives roughly $3,200 in state financing for every full-time equivalent student. The district has lost more than 400 students the past decade.

This year alone, Wewahitchka Jr./Sr. High School saw enrollment erode by nearly 40 students, more than offsetting modest gains at the two elementary schools.

“There is $100,000 in funding lost,” Norton said. “But despite that, we are a high-performing district that ranks in the top 25 percent in the state of Florida. We have two ‘A’ schools and in comparison Bay County does not have one.

“We have wonderful schools that serve our community. To cut any further than we are going to and deliver the high level of service we do now would be an impossible task.”

The School Board will formally begin considering areas for budget cuts beginning with its next regular meeting, to be held 6 p.m. CT May 7 at Wewahitchka Elementary School.

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