Lake County Schools Superintendent Diane Kornegay has asked Govenor Rick Scott to veto the budget recently submitted by Florida legislators, saying it includes too little money for schools. She also asked him to veto a controversial education bill that has drawn a wave of disapproval over measures the Superintendent and other critics say will be harmful to schools.
Kornegay says in the letter that the $2.61-per-student increase in funding, which comes does little to help pay for next year’s expected growth and leaves a $1.2 million deficit with no funds to cover the cost of the projected 176 new students enrolled next year.
She also expressed concerns about the $1 million in capital funding the district would have to share with charter schools, even if they are managed by for-profit private companies, and the possible redirection of Title I funds that pay for programs in schools with the greatest needs.
“As a new Superintendent, I have great hope for Lake County Schools,” Kornegay wrote. “I'm excited about the good things already happening in our district and energized by the opportunity to improve student achievement. But these proposed changes will make the implementation of my improvement efforts much more difficult. Across the district, we are feeling disheartened and betrayed by a budget and bill that, ultimately, will cause our students to suffer.”
The letter comes on the heels of a call to action from the Florida School Boards Association, which asked members to contact their legislative delegation “to make them aware of the harmful impacts that the proposed budget will have on your school district” and to share those concerns with Govenor Scott.
“Legislators can and should make a stronger effort to support our schools,” Kornegay wrote. “A veto from you, Gov. Scott, would allow them that opportunity.