Gradebook takes you inside the world of Florida education issues with reporter discussions and newsmaker interviews on the hottest topics of the week. Florida has been a national leader in education initiatives for more than two decades, and our team brings you closer to the action.
School districts across Florida have long lists of construction, maintenance and repair projects with price tags that far exceed the revenue they anticipate getting from the state. Dozens have gone to their voters asking for sales tax increases to bolster the amount available to spend. Several more are looking that direction. Why are the local officials feeling forced to seek local solutions? The state has given what little capital funds it has to charter schools, rather than district schools, in the name of funding equity. Exacerbating the situation, the state has cut its support of capital projects by 71 percent, as a share of the economy, over the past decade. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities senior researcher Mike Leachman has been looking into the data, and talked with reporter Jeff Solochek about the implications of spending less money on keeping the schools up to snuff.