The Flagler County School Board agreed to present three requests to the state legislature heading into the 2024 legislative session.
The school district is requesting $1.6 million for a local project to expand the facilities at Flagler Technical College to support more students and programs. The money would add three classrooms and two bathrooms to FTC.
The other two requests focus on statewide issues that are critical to Flagler County: emergency temporary teacher certifications for critical shortage areas and funding to secure the district's five-year capital plan to account for additional requirements to share capital outlay with charter schools.
Superintendent LaShakia Moore told the board that the request for temporary certifications “is paramount.”
She said that while the district can now place teaching candidates out of their field for a year, there are some candidates who have applied for positions who don’t have degrees in an area that would allow for any level of temporary certification.
“If they would up that, that would help us tremendously,” Moore said. “It’s a priority when we think of staffing of schools.”
The third request is important locally because Flagler County has a higher percentage of students in charter schools than the average.
A five-year glide path builds the school districts’ sharing percentages by 20% per year. But the state could provide other revenue to all districts to limit the impact. Flagler Schools has not adjusted its capital plan since the law was passed.
“It would ensure that we can continue to move forward with the items that are on our five-year capital plan with additional dollars shared with our charter school,” Moore said.
A fourth request, which was eliminated, would have asked for increased funding to provide competitive salaries to FTC instructors who have other opportunities in the private sector.
“It’s a need,” Moore said. “But I would ask, have we done all we can locally to address this area?”
She said there is already a lot of money earmarked for career and technical education, and the district first needs to see if it can shift funds before it includes the request in a future legislative platform.
Board Chair Cheryl Massaro noted that the issue needs to be solved in the future if the Legislature approves the FTC expansion project.
“We’re going to need more employees,” she said.