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Workshop to introduce bold initiatives for district and approach to funding

TAVARES – The district is examining goals and strategies to help Lake’s public schools thrive in a new environment of limited revenue growth, more rigorous standards and increased parental choice. The School Board’s budget workshop at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, June 5, will introduce bold initiatives from Superintendent Diane Kornegay to take the district in a new direction and suggest ways to pay for those initiatives.

The push for change is fueled by the district’s frustration with lagging school grades and graduation rates as well as circumstances that have impacted financial support for traditional public schools in recent years.

Letters sent recently from Ms. Kornegay, the Lake County School Board and the Educational Foundation of Lake County (attached) asked Gov. Rick Scott to veto the education budget for 2017-18 because of insufficient funding.

The district issued a call to action for parents to send letters asking the same.

Gov. Scott is now calling on the Legislature to provide an additional $215 million to K-12 education than previously authorized. This would increase the statewide average per student funding growth compared to this year to $100 per student – less than half of what the governor and the Senate originally sought, but more than the $24.49 per student that the Legislature had in its budget. The impact on individual districts will vary.

Those letters from Lake – along with many others across the state – also asked Gov. Scott to veto House Bill 7069, which would require the district to share about $1 million in capital funding with charter schools causing a delay in preventive maintenance and new construction of traditional public schools in Lake.

He has not yet received the bill but some signs indicate he may have been persuaded to sign it.

Monday’s board workshop will be held at the district’s main office, 201 W. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares. It will be live streamed on the district’s web site,