During Tuesday’s work session, school board members got an updated look at next year’s budget. The good news? Florida lawmakers have provided additional revenue for student education.
Mike Perrone, chief financial officer for Polk County Public Schools, gave an overview of what local education funding will look like for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
PCPS will receive approximately $32 million in new revenue. However, the district must spend $15 million of the new revenue on specific, state-mandated expenses, including the state’s Best and Brightest teacher bonus program as well as extra services for schools undergoing turnaround plans to boost their overall academic performance.
“We received a good amount of revenue, but there are some strings attached to some of that … We are not complaining about that,” Perrone said. “We needed new revenue, and we got some this year … We don’t have full discretion in spending.”
Perrone estimated that the district will receive about $10.6 million in new discretionary spending. This money could be used for items like raises, providing expanded student services, and purchasing classroom technology and supplies.
District staff also estimate approximately 1,200 new students will enroll next year, which will generate an additional $7 million. These funds will be used to hire new teachers and support staff at schools.
Overall, PCPS’s total operating budget is approximately $929.5 million.
District staff is drafting a tentative budget, which will go before the School Board in late July for approval. Board members will then officially approve the budget in September.