Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Superintendent Kurt Browning’s Letter to Governor Rick Scott
The letter below and attached from Superintendent Kurt Browning to Governor Rick Scott was hand-delivered today.
March 14, 2018
The Honorable Rick Scott
Governor of Florida
PL 01, The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0100
Dear Governor Scott:
I am writing to respectfully request that you veto the Florida Education Finance Program in the state budget.
The proposed Base Student Allocation (BSA) increase of $.47 per student statewide (.01%) equals an additional $34,613.29 for Pasco County Schools for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. This amount is not even close to one starting teacher’s salary. What’s worse, compared to the 3rd calculation, Pasco County Schools will see a decrease of more than $2 in our Base Student Allocation from our 2017-2018 funding, due to a reduced District Cost Differential.
The overall FEFP per-student increase for Pasco’s children is only $88.49 each, compared to the statewide average of $101.50 per student. If it were not for the 1,001 new students projected to enroll in Pasco schools next year, we would not see any new money. This is not the historical increase the Legislature suggests it is. It mandates the specific programs on which almost all of the increase must be spent, primarily on safe schools and mental health programs, removing any flexibility districts have to decide how best to appropriate the funds based on their individual needs.
Although I strongly support funding school safety measures, the majority of the increased FEFP is for student safety at the expense of educating our students. This increase in funding per student will not cover inflation (increased mandatory retirement contributions, costs for utilities, property insurance, and health care coverage for employees), or teacher raises.
Thank you for your efforts to truly increase per student funding. Please use your authority as governor to force the Legislature to adequately fund public school operations by vetoing the FEFP and calling the Legislature back for a special session to provide us with an operating budget that both enhances school safety and provides the funding necessary to educate Florida’s public school children.
Kurt S. Browning
Superintendent of Schools
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Mittye P. Locke Students Assemble to Stop Bullying
Who: Mittye P. Locke Elementary School students, Pasco County Schools staff, and Wells Fargo
What: Hero Today Hero Tomorrow
When: 4:15 p.m., Wednesday, March 28
Where: Mittye P. Locke Elementary School cafeteria, 4339 Evans Ave. in New Port Richey
Why: Students from the Mittye P. Locke Elementary School Student Council and Kiwanis Club will host this event to discuss bullying and how to stop it.
How: The students will give a PowerPoint presentation and premier an anti-bullying video that they produced. The video will discuss what bullying is, how to handle it, and the acts of kindness that can help prevent it. The event also will feature guest speakers from Gulf Middle School and Wells Fargo, and Kelli Coile, district psychologist, will discuss emotions and the impact of negative experiences. For more information, contact Andrea Morrow at (727) 774-3157.
Monday, March 12, 2018
Wiregrass Ranch High Students Stand Against School Violence, Honor Victims
Who: Wiregrass Ranch High School students
What: Voluntary student vigil against school violence and in support of the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
When: 9:50 a.m., Wednesday, March 14
Where: Wiregrass Ranch High School, 2909 Mansfield Blvd. in Wesley Chapel
Why: Students will peacefully protest violence in schools and honor the lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
How: Students who wish to participate will gather in the school’s front courtyard and stand silently for 17 minutes to honor the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In addition to the vigil, groups of students have written letters that protest gun violence and ask for more effective gun legislation, and sent them to legislators. For more information, contact Wiregrass Ranch High School at (813) 346-6000.
Gulf Middle Student Council Shadows City Leaders
Who: Gulf Middle School Student Council members, New Port Richey government agencies, and city officials
What: City of New Port Richey Job Shadowing Day
When: 7:45 a.m., Thursday, March 29
Where: New Port Richey City Hall, 5919 Main St.; New Port Richey Police Department, 6739 Adams St.; New Port Richey Fire Department, 6333 Madison St.; New Port Richey Wastewater Plant, 4730 Main St.; New Port Richey Water Plant, 9747 DeCubellis Road; New Port Richey Public Works, 6132 Pine Hill Road in Port Richey
Why: Gulf Middle School Student Council members from seventh and eighth grades will participate in an exciting job shadowing day with city officials, where they will learn the ins and outs of local government service and enjoy a complimentary lunch.
How: Gulf Middle School Student Council members will work alongside various New Port Richey city leaders, including the city manager and those from police and fire administration. Students then will enjoy a special lunch and discuss what they learned with city personnel. For more information, contact Liz Kuhns at (727) 774-8018.
Friday, March 09, 2018
Pasco Superintendent Urges Pasco Delegation to Reject State Budget
Land O’ Lakes, FL – (March 9, 2018) – Pasco County Schools superintendent Kurt Browning wrote to members of the Pasco Legislative Delegation today, urging them to vote “No” on the state budget.
In the email, Browning points out that the proposed Base Student Allocation (BSA) increase of $.47 per student (.01%) equals an additional $34,613.29 for Pasco County Schools for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
“This amount is not even close to one starting teacher’s salary,” Browning wrote.
The BSA is the amount of money the state provides per student, and is the main source of flexible funding school districts receive to pay for new or continuing educational programs and teacher and staff salaries. It is one part of the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP).
The overall FEFP per-student increase for Pasco’s children is only $88.49 each, compared to the statewide average of $101.50 per student. Although legislators will suggest that this is a significant increase, the Legislature mandates the specific programs on which almost all of that increase must be spent, primarily on safe schools and mental health programs, removing any flexibility districts have in deciding how best to appropriate the funds.
“Although I strongly support funding school safety measures, the majority of the increased FEFP is for student safety at the expense of educating our students,” Browning said.
The increase in funding per student will not cover inflation (increased costs for utilities, property insurance, and health care coverage for employees), student enrollment growth, or teacher raises, Browning noted.
The Legislature is expected to vote on the state budget Sunday.