Putting Education Reform To The Test

More Money Off The Table at School Funding Summit

Florida education leaders are meeting in Tampa today to discuss school funding, but do not expect the panel to endorse more money for schools.

Roberto Martinez, the state Board of Education member who pushed for the budget discussion, said his goal is to brainstorm ideas that would help schools do more with the resources they have. State revenue forecasts and the political climate mean schools will not see more money next year, Martinez said. Martinez hopes the discussion with school district, charter school, college and other education advocates will focus on policy changes to recommend to lawmakers and help the panel draft budget recommendations by this fall.

“If they are just asking for more money, that’s not very helpful,” Martinez said.

That stance disappoints Colleen Hill with Save Duval Schools, who planned to attend today’s meeting. The amount of school funding is an issue, Hill said, but said the discussion could be valuable if the board totals up the cost of state and federal mandates on schools.

“How much it really costs to deliver the services that are being requested and required,” said Hill, who was encouraged the board was meeting to specifically discuss school funding.

The Florida Department of Education has posted a meeting agenda here that includes loads of background on school data, the state budget and revenue projections.


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