Duval County education leaders want fewer unfunded or underfunded state mandates and more flexibility to decide how best to educate students.
That was a large part of the message the Duval County School Board and Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals gave the Duval Legislative Delegation when they met Thursday to discuss education.
Pratt-Dannals pointed to a new requirement for the district to implement a policy to fight teen dating violence and abuse. The law will require the purchase of a curriculum and the tracking of data. That, along with other health education requirements, is expected to cost the district about $522,000.
While Pratt-Dannals said a policy against teen dating violence is a good thing, it’s not a requirement that came with enough funding to cover it. And it’s an issue that mostly reaches outside of schools.
The district is expecting a $92 million shortfall for the 2011-12 school year, in part because of state mandates, higher costs and a reduction in revenue, Pratt-Dannals said.
Pratt-Dannals also said that the state and federal oversight process, called Differentiated Accountability, which requires a lot of state oversight for low-performing schools, costs about $20 million. And now teachers are getting coaching in math, reading and other subjects from the school, district and state levels.