PBC principals discuss funding boost for schools

Posted at 8:56 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 20:56:00-05

A major reorganization of the Palm Beach County School District could pump extra money into your child's school.

It's all part of Superintendent Robert Avossa's reform of the district, shifting money from administrative jobs directly into to low income, high-risk schools.

It could greatly benefit South Grade elementary - a school that has its charms, and it's challenges.

"We're 100 percent free and reduced lunch, so we're a high poverty school," principal Mike Riley says."The students are mostly from immigrant families."

Riley says his staff is doing well, helping students overcome the odds.

However, more funding for his school would be huge.

"It would be like the frosting on the cake," he says.

His school would receive an extra $100 per student.

With 760 students at his school - that amounts to about $76,000.

He says it would go toward assisting students struggling with English.

"Enhance reading instruction by bringing in classroom tutors during the school day," he says. "Small group instruction is the key for our students."

Across town at Roosevelt Middle, principal Moneek McTier is also making plans.

"This extra allocation can really do some of the things that schools like us don't get the opportunity [to do] because we don't have the funding," she says.

87% of her students are on free and reduced lunch -so their share is a little less - $50 per student.

It means about $49,000 would be coming to her school.

McTier wants to use a lot of that money on technology.

"Additional laptops, additional desktops, tablets."

She says it will provide new opportunities her youngsters rarely have.

"It will enable me to help students engage and be motivated in their learning, and we're just excited about it.".

Under this plan, almost six million dollars will be funneled to the schools.

That money will come from slashing jobs at the regional offices-  101 positions will be reduced to 43.

Avossa says those 101 employees will have the chance to apply for one of those jobs, or apply to work elsewhere in the district.