School Funding Bill Would Leave Miami-Dade Unable To Pay Off Debt
Miami Herald columnist Fred Grimm raises another issue with the proposed bill requiring equal funding for charter schools and district schools: A credit crunch.
But the budget has another complication. Most of that remaining $230 million must go to pay off the district’s mandatory obligations, including some $180 million due as debt payment on bonds, $27 million for property insurance and $8 million to satisfy legal obligations stemming from the Americans with Disabilities Act. That leaves the district only about $12 million to spend on maintenance for the entire year.
The consequences become more dire in subsequent years, when debt payment obligations increase, causing the district’s construction and maintenance to descend, if this bill passes, into the red. With less than nothing for maintenance. (The district derived most of that debt when it was forced to borrow construction money to provide 100,000 additional student stations to meet the constitutionally mandated classroom enrollment caps.)
The school district would be forced to reach into a general fund already devastated by budget cuts and rising medical costs.
What do you think of Grimm’s point? What’s the proper balance for funding district schools and charter schools — all of which are public schools?