Superintendents to Testify at State House Amid Warnings of Schools Losing Funding

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Spectrum News 13 | by Rebecca Turco | February 18, 2021

STATEWIDE — Five superintendents are set to testify at Florida’s State House Thursday, a week after the House speaker warned schools could lose hundreds of millions in funding due to a drop in enrollment amid the pandemic.

What You Need To Know
  • Five superintendents to testify before House committee
  • House speaker warns of loss in funding due to pandemic enrollment drop
  • School funding is based on enrollment

The superintendents are scheduled to appear Thursday before the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee, which has oversight of education funding. The state’s share of school funding is based on enrollment.

Last Thursday, House Speaker Chris Sprowls sent a letter to the state’s superintendents, saying there could be significant budget implications if they do not find the roughly 90,000 “missing” students, who were expected to enroll but never did. Sprowls said that equates to more than 3% of the state’s K-12 student population.

In the letter, Sprowls urged superintendents to “work with every available State and local resource” to re-enroll those children.

“We have a moral obligation not to allow any of these children to slip through the cracks in the system,” he said.

Many of those students, though, are being homeschooled during the pandemic. The five superintendents scheduled to testify may ask lawmakers to make exceptions to the funding rules as a result.

The meeting is set to begin at 10 a.m. Thursday. 

Photo: Last Thursday, House Speaker Chris Sprowls sent a letter to the state’s superintendents, saying there could be significant budget implications if they do not find the roughly 90,000 “missing” students, who were expected to enroll but never did. (File photo)