Controversial House budget proposal, some fear it could cost schools millions

Some school districts are not happy with a state budget proposal. Leaders fear it could take millions of dollars and resources from your child’s school. At least three districts of our territory could be impacted.

State Rep. Randy Fine said every district should get more money next year — but he’s proposing that some get even more than others. Fine wants to take a total of $200 million from districts that enforced a student mask policy this year. He says the money should be given as a reward to districts that have not done so. This is called “parent priority adjustment”.

You may remember the governor saying it was illegal for schools to have students wear masks, but some maintained the policy.

55 municipalities could benefit from it. 12 could be missing. The ones in our area are Orange County Public Schools, Brevard County Public Schools, and Volusia County Public Schools.

Fine says the $200 million bonus for the 55 districts would come from the salaries of administrative employees in the 12 districts. It looks specifically at workers earning over $100,000. Fine says it’s not a punishment, but a responsibility.

“We’re using that as a benchmark of what the adjustment would be,” said House Rep. Randy Fine, “We’re not asking them to cut those positions, but we’re asking them to reduce their central administrative expenses d as much.. They can determine how they do that.

Below is a breakdown of funding for districts in our region:

  • Orange County Public Schools Could Lose More Than $16 Million in Funding
  • Volusia County Public Schools Could Lose More Than $3 Million in Funding
  • Public schools in Brevard County could lose more than $4 million in funding.

Lake County Public Schools, Flagler County Public Schools and Osceola County Public Schools could earn between more than $2 million and more than $10 million more.

Fine says the wording of the proposal indicates that districts cannot reduce funding for student activities if they are affected.

In the past few days, Orange County Public Schools sent a letter to its representatives in Tallahassee disparaging the idea. OCPS says this is punishment for trying to protect students and that this proposal would harm students.

Leaders say 92 positions within the district could be affected. For example, early learning positions, school safety, or people who work in student transportation.

Volusia County Schools says the district has its attorneys looking into this and doesn’t think it should be part of the class. “suspected violators”. The district says it only had mandatory masks for a short time when it was allowed by the courts. VCPS says the school board made masks optional once the decision was made that masks could not be required for students.

Brevard County Schools said it was too early to comment.

Fine says he’s optimistic his budget proposal will go ahead.

“I love that these school districts are moaning and moaning. That means accountability is going to hit them. When my 10-year-old son isn’t listening to me at home, I pick up his iPad. Accountability when you don’t don’t follow the rules.When the responsibility is not strong enough, then they will break the rules again.

The House will debate the budget and this “parents-first adjustment” proposal on Tuesday and Wednesday. The House is due to vote on the budget on Wednesday. The House would then negotiate with the Senate on the final budget before it is presented to the governor.

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