DCPS entered the 2017/2018 school year $23m short of the funding necessary to deliver its budget. It had to tap into reserves and Federal Title I & II funds to make up the shortfall. Some of the reasons for the shortfall were lack of processes to avoid over-expenditures, lack of monitoring of contractual vendor payments, and problems with the district’s annual budgeting process.
Unfortunately, these kinds of problems snowball. DCPS struggled with a $62m shortfall coming into 2018/2019. It tapped into reserves to close some of the gap.
I manage complex budgets and make hard business decisions every day. I will do the same on the School Board. We need to get control of our $1.7B budget, then focus our spending on initiatives that drive better educational outcomes.
Much of DCPS’s annual budget is committed by mandates from Tallahassee. Yet, if there is one thing I have learned over the course of a business career, there is always room for improvement. As a DCPS Board Member, I will challenge administrators to put in place a culture of efficiency, waste reduction and continuous improvement, much as I have throughout my business career. I will work to ensure that taxpayer funding is spent efficiently and is channeled to areas which deliver the highest quality education to our children, such as retaining great teachers and expanding the portfolio of inspiring learning options we offer to our kids.
Paid for by Nick Howland, Candidate for Duval County School Board District 2