The Pasco County School Board has adopted a budget of more than $1.5 billion for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
That’s an increase of more than $122 million over last year’s budget, Superintendent Kurt Browning said, during the board’s Sept. 15 meeting.
Browning outlined some key points about the budget.
- $704.3 million in the general operating budget
- $401.4 million in the capital budget
The total tax millage is 5.922 mills, a decrease of .179 mills. Under the proposed rate, a homeowner of a $175,000 house, after the deduction of the $25,000 homestead, would pay $26.85 less per year than last year.
The general operating budget increased from $666.6 million to $704.3 million. The district received additional funds totaling $24.1 million in state funding.
Out of the $24.1 million:
- $10.1 million is set aside for School Choice, that is charter schools and scholarships
- $4.9 million for retirement increases
- $1.3 million for insurance increases
- $3.4 million for 68.91 personnel allocations for schools and 5.17 personnel allocations for the district
- $1.2 million for the continuation of costs related to Project Rise, general paper and dual enrollment
- $500,000 for property insurance, utilities and school resource officer contract increases
The operating budget includes costs for allocations and operating costs for Cypress Creek Middle School and the midyear opening of Starkey Ranch K-8.
The budget also includes $4.7 million to implement the teacher salary increase allocation. The district will use that allocation, along with funds from fiscal year 2019-2020, of $7.3 million for the Best and Brightest program, to increase the minimum base salary for full-time classroom teachers to approximately $45,000 per year.
The budget also includes raises of approximately 1.5% for all remaining staff.
The proposed capital budget of $401.4 million includes:
- Construction of Starkey Ranch K-8 and Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation
- Major renovations to Northwest Elementary and James M. Marlowe Elementary
- Construction of a new bus loop at San Antonio Elementary School
- Cafeteria renovations, replacement of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems and infrastructure upgrades at various schools
- Lease-purchase computers and school buses
- Completion of the remodeling of Zephyrhills High School
The budget does not reflect the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security, CARES funds, totaling more than $14.4 million, which is being used to pay for expenses related to COVID-19.
There was no public comment or board discussion about the budget, which was approved unanimously by the board.
Published September 23, 2020