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LCS budget 'in a good place' despite COVID-19-related losses

Posted at 11:13 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 23:13:11-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Leon County school board discussed reopening at Tuesday’s budget meeting, with superintendent Rocky Hanna presenting a possible plan that would reduce classroom size to allow social distancing.

“We’re combining them, well that combination allows for less students who are physically in a classroom,” said Hanna.

Per Hanna's plan, cameras would be set up in each classroom during the lesson only.

Students enrolled in digital academies, 10,000 to 11,000 in the district for the school year, would log in to their classes from home while the students in classrooms would continue as normal but with more room to social distance.

Board members are encouraging families who can opt for digital academies to do so.

“If that’s an option for your household please consider that,” said Alva Striplin, LCS board member.

The board also looked into how COVID-19 has impacted their budget.

”We saw a hit this year and we’re estimating even more for next year possibly.”

The district is taking a $2 million budget loss for this year, due to in-person classes being canceled for the last nine weeks.

The budget for the 2020-2021 school year over $515 million.

Overall, Hanna says they are still in a good place financially with a reserve of $5 million if the state cuts funding.

“I'm happy and excited about where we ended up this fiscal year,” said Hanna.

The district has also budgeted $5.6 million to go toward teacher pay raises.

The board will vote to approve the budget next Tuesday.