Orange County School Board and Superintendent Barbara Jenkins have officially asked Governor Rick Scott to veto HB 7069 and the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) portion of the General Appropriations Act. In a letter sent to Governor Rick Scott, the School Board and Superintendent highlight how proposed budget could impact OCPS. Governor Scott, who is expected to run for U.S. Senate against Senator Bill Nelson, is currently debating a veto.
Orange County Public Schools cites:
- Inadequate average increase statewide of $24.49 (or a 0.34%) per student. This level of funding does not begin to address the basic educational services we are tasked with providing our students.
- The cut to the Base Student Allocation (“BSA”) of $27.07 per student, would result in funding less than it was ten years ago. This could affect the ability to provide raises for hard-working teachers.
- The current proposal threatens the Title I provision impacting services to support the needs of students in poverty. This would limit the ability of a school district to provide district-wide services such as summer reading programs, tutoring, and parental engagement initiatives.
- Forcing school districts to share its capital outlay millage with charter schools regardless of the need. This would severely impact a school district’s ability to meet ongoing transportation as well as building and maintenance needs of Florida public schools.
The letter to the Governor also suggests options which would actually increase per student funding by 2.2% ($25 million) for Orange County Public Schools for the 2017-18 school year.
1) Eliminating “Schools of Hope” charter school plan and Best and Brightest program which only provides bonuses to certain teachers and not raises for all teachers.
2) Redirecting the $354 million saved from the elimination of the two programs to provide needed educational services and teacher raises.
You can read the OCPS letter to the Governor by clicking here. Florida School Board Association (FSBA) and Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS) also called for a veto of HB 7069 and FEFP. FADSS news release can be found here.