For immediate release - March 30, 2005
TAVARES — A recent discussion in the Lake County Commission Chambers has piqued interest in the community of when and how much financially does County Government support the local school district.
During this current budget year, the Board of County Commissioners earmarked more than $1.75 million for various school-related programs and activities. Many of the grants given by the Board to the school district are not required, but routinely help fund reoccurring programs.
For example, the school-resource officer program, which the Board of County Commissioners contributes to, has dramatically increased over the course of the past five years. In fiscal year 2001, the County contributed about $11,250 to the program, but this year, County contributions for the critical safety program weighed in at more than $625,000.
“I’m not sure the public is aware we have contributed that much, and I am not sure the School Board knows we have contributed that much,” said County Commissioner Catherine Hanson at the Tuesday’s Board meeting.
In all, the board funds about $1.65 million for school programs organized by the Sheriff’s Office, including Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.), crossing guards and a criminal justice training program. Additional contributions from the Board of County Commissioners help fund various summer programs.
As funding contributed by the Board to the school district has increased by 124 percent over the past five years so has school impact fees collected by County Government. During the past five years, the County has collected more than $56 million in school impact fees for the school district, including more than $22 million this fiscal year.
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