Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 12

LEGISLATIVEREPORT

Natural Disasters, Limited
State Revenue and Election

Year Politics Expected to Shape

2018 Legislative Session
BY ANDREA MESSINA
Executive Director, Florida School Boards Association

The issues currently swirling in the air which will affect the economics of Florida's public school districts
in 2018 and beyond are many, varied, and fraught with uncertainty. However, they all begin with the state
budget. Since 2014 economic forecasters have predicted progressively slimmer growth in state revenue
through 2020-2021 when revenue growth is expected to disappear entirely before slowly rebounding. For
the past few years, these sobering predictions have motivated the Legislature to adopt
austere budgets and to beef up reserves to safeguard funding for future years.
The picture for the 2018-2019 budget is
no brighter. Initial projections for the coming year set the budget surplus-the funds
that still remain after the state has funded
all critical needs-at a paltry $52 million.
Then, against this severely strained budget
backdrop, the hurricane season began.
Unlike most hurricanes whose paths
cross select counties, Hurricane Irma's
impact was felt statewide. We could not be
more proud that Florida's school districts
and personnel are among the many heroes
who selflessly sheltered, fed, and comforted
so many of our citizens during this disaster
from their own, neighboring, and acrossthe-state communities. But, we also realize
that reimbursement for the costs incurred
before, during, and after the storm will need
to be absorbed to a significant extent by state
coffers. Beyond state-wide sheltering several
districts sustained flood and wind damage,
adding millions to the state's recovery bill.
In early September Amy Baker, Director of
the Legislature's Office of Economic and
Demographic Research, told a joint House
and Senate panel that whatever surplus may
have previously existed will now be gone due
to costs associated with Irma.
12

FASBO FALL/WINTER 2017

In addition, Florida is already opening its doors and readying for an influx
of American citizens from Puerto Rico
due to Hurricane Maria. Many of these
citizens will be school aged children
who in addition to needing access to
academic programs and services will
require a variety of social, emotional,
and health services. Our local school
districts will be responsible for providing most of these programs to
serve and support these students
and will assume the associated
as-yet-to-be-determined
costs.
We know that a
number of conflicting priorities will
arise from our legislative chambers, as they
always do. The 2017 legislative
session showed our citizens
what dueling houses looked like, and it
was contentious, bitter, and deceptive.
That now becomes the foundation for this
year's session, which is likely to be no better. House Speaker Richard Corcoran has
already requested that all members forego

BROOKE BECKER/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017

President’s Message
All Hands on Deck for Purchasing Card Fraud Prevention
Legislative Report
2017 Annual Conference Recap
In Memoriam: Rita Zazzaro
Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - Intro
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - bellyband1
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - bellyband2
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover1
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover2
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 3
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 4
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 5
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 6
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - President’s Message
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - All Hands on Deck for Purchasing Card Fraud Prevention
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 9
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 10
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 11
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - Legislative Report
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 13
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 2017 Annual Conference Recap
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 15
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - In Memoriam: Rita Zazzaro
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 17
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover3
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover4
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - outsert1
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - outsert2
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - outsert3
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - outsert4
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