~District seeking continuance of one mil additional levy~

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 09:10 AM.

The lone component of school funding over which the Gulf County School Board has any sway is Local Capital Improvement which, Norton and board chair Linda Wood have said repeatedly, would allow the district to raise that component and buy sparkling new school buses, but LCI funding may not be used for operating purposes.

The Florida Legislature each year determines the discretionary funding and the local required taxes each spring.

The district’s only option to raise operating funds is the additional operating levy.

Norton said passing the levy is key to maintaining the standards of a district that has been an honor roll district, under the state’s grading formula, and a high-performing district the past five consecutive years.

“We have cut funding for the past four years but maintained standards,” he said. “For us to continue the integrity of the product we are providing for the good of Gulf County we need this funding.

“We are not asking for anything but to maintain.”

If the levy does not pass, the district could have to shed as many as 50 jobs, 20 percent of its workforce, though how the cuts would come about and the district still meet constitutional mandates on class size parent/teacher ratios is an unknown.

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