Miami-Dade School Board approves 2018-2019 budget

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 0 Comments

 

The Miami-Dade School Board tentatively approved a $5.2 billion budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, focusing its expenses on enhancing students’ education and ensuring school safety and the protection of pupils and teachers.

The spending plan reduces central office spending and provides a fund balance that meets the state required minimum, which is a major feat since most the state’s increased funding is tied to legislatively-mandated appropriation increases.

The fourth largest school district in the nation indicated its ability to expand programs for students or provide salary increases is limited since only $.47 of the $44 increase per student in state funding is discretionary.

The proposed budget reflects a tax decrease for homeowners across the county and provides the lowest rate, 2.61 mills, for property taxes since 1979.

It reduces the school property tax for a typical homeowner in Miami-Dade by $18.57.

The formula assumes the homeowner resides in the same homestead home, townhouse or condominium as the prior year and has not improved property values.

The proposed rate for the new fiscal year is lower for the first time in 39 years mostly due to the fact that the state once again has lowered the required local effort. Since the RLE continues to be decreased, it is limiting the district’s ability to attract and retain educators.

According to schools officials, it is difficult to operate in an environment where tax proceeds available to school districts are not permitted to increase along with the cost of living.

Even though the district has experienced historic achievements during the past year, including becoming an A-rated school district for the first time, the funding decisions made in Tallahassee have not rewarded its academic growth nor its financial efficiency.

However, disciplined financial management will ensure that the district remains on firm financial footing despite the lack of adequate funding.

Among the school system’s goals is for state leadership to recognize the performance excellence exhibited in Miami-Dade’s public schools and fund them accordingly in the next legislative session.

Thanks to taxpayers, the district continues to accelerate the implementation of the GOB program with close to 600 projects at various stages of development.

The Miami-Dade School Board will hold the final public hearing and officially adopt a new budget on September 5 at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the School Board Administration Building, 1450 N.E. 2 Avenue.

 


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