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Money squeeze gets tighter for schools

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By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

Another precipitous drop in state revenues is bad news for local public schools, Superintendent Bob Hastings told the Levy County School Board at a Feb. 2 meeting.

Hastings said no one knows what will happen with the state budgets when the Legislature’s session begins on March 2. “It’s anybody’s guess,” Hastings said.

But he noted that the revenue estimate for the state’s coffers is down by $3 billion overall which translates to $1 billion less in state money for schools.

“Federal money continues to flow,” Hastings said. But the federally funded Title I program — known as Head Start — “is on the block” Hastings said.

He said one option is that the money will only go to the lowest 5 percent of schools which would mean Levy gets some of the funds.

“There will be avenues to access and avenues to disappear,” he said.

It was at this point that he mentioned the federal “Race to the Top” funding program which the teachers’ union opposes.


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