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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Becki Couch calls out the Times Union and the businessmen school board candidates

That would be Howland with a dash of Willie and Chauncy in case you were wondering

Via Facebook

It is disappointing that the TU and certain candidates through campaign mailers have been perpetuating inaccurate information. First let me say that Duval did not spend $62 million more than it received last year nor has there been a two-year deficit spending practice. 

State statute requires school districts pass a balanced budget with a minimum of 3% unrestricted funds to be held in reserve. This essentially is like a savings account that is to be used to cover unanticipated costs that can occur throughout the fiscal year. You can read here to see what I have been saying for several years. 

At no time did the district go below the required 3%. 

When preparing the 2018-2019 fiscal year district budget we had to account for a $2.89 per student reduction from the state, underfunded and unfunded legislative mandates, and fixed cost increases. This required a need to reduce our costs by several million dollars so that we could comply with the law and pass a balanced budget. 

Florida state statute 1011.051 requires the superintendent provide written notification to the district school board and the Commissioner of Education if at any time the portion of the general fund’s ending unrestricted fund balance in the district’s approved operating budget is projected to fall below 2 percent of projected revenues during the current fiscal year. 

We have remained above 4% in reserves. Considering this never occurred it is fair to say the campaign advertisements and TU have been a bit misleading in their proclamation that the school district “over spent” the revenue taken in. 

I have served with "businessmen" on the board and they have come to the same conclusion as I, that as long as per student funding continues to lag behind the increases in the cost of living and unfunded mandates continue to be passed by the legislature, cuts to the district budget will continue to occur.

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