The Polk County School Board voted unanimously today to urge Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto House Bill 5007, saying the legislation would cost Polk’s school district about $9 million in revenues and be “painfully significant” to its educational programs.
This legislation would increase the rate state employers, including school districts, pay into the Florida Retirement System on behalf of their employees. Board members outlined their concerns in a letter to the governor.
“School districts will bear the brunt of the increase,” the letter states. “Of an overall cost of approximately $404 million across all state employers, roughly $233 million will be borne by school districts. It will cost Polk County about $9 million in revenues sorely needed by the district to fund the daily delivery of education services to the 106,000 students of Polk County.”
The letter also encouraged the governor to apply for federal funds available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).
“The Polk County School District could receive up to $34 million in additional funding under the CARES Act, in support of the district’s efforts to address the local economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this time of economic uncertainty, it is incumbent upon the State of Florida to take advantage of every avenue open to us.”
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