The Miami-Dade School Board tentatively approved the school district’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-2019 budget, during its July budget public hearing. The primary focus of the proposed $5.2 billion budget is that of continuing to improve student achievement as well as, ensuring school safety and the protection of our highly effective instructional staff.
This budget reduces central office spending and provides a fund balance that meets the state required minimum. This is a major accomplishment since most of the State’s increased funding is tied to legislatively-mandated appropriation increases. The District’s ability to expand programs for students or provide salary increases is extremely limited given the fact that only $0.47 of the $44 increase per student in State funding is discretionary.
The approved budget reflects a tax decrease for homeowners across the county and provides the lowest millage since 1979. It reduces the school property tax for a typical homeowner in Miami-Dade County by $18.57. This calculation assumes the homeowner resides in the same homesteaded home, townhome or condominium as the prior year and has not improved the property.
The proposed total millage levy for FY 2018-19 is .261 mills lower than FY 2017-18 mostly due to the fact that the State once again has lowered the required local effort (RLE). Since the RLE continues to be decreased, this is limiting the District’s ability to attract and retain educators. It is very 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 this past year, becoming an A-rated school district being one of them, the funding decisions from 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. One of 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 General Obligation Bond program with close to 600 projects at various stages of development.
The Miami-Dade County School Board will hold the final public hearing and adopt the FY 2018-2019 budget on September 5, 2018 at 6 p.m., in the auditorium of the School Board Administration Building, 1450 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33132.
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