07-27-2017 First Public Budget Hearing

The School Board of Brevard County, Florida met for the first public budget hearing on Thursday, July 27, 2017 at the Educational Services Facility, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, Florida. Notice of the meeting was advertised in the Eagle newspaper on Thursday, July 6, 2017. The affidavit of publication with a copy of the ad attached is filed in the Affidavit File in the Board Office.

Opening Exercises
1. Call to Order

Minutes: Chairperson Belford called the meeting to order at: 5:31 p.m.
2. Roll Call

Minutes: Members present:  Misty Belford, John Craig, Tina Descovich, Matt Susin and Andy Ziegler
3. Pledge of Allegiance

Minutes: Chairperson Belford led the Pledge of Allegiance.

4. Superintendent's Presentation of the 2017-18 Proposed Millage Levy and Tentative Budget
Attachment: First Public Hearing 7-27-2017 - Final.pdf

Pennie Zuercher, Chief Financial Officer, provided the Board and viewing audience information on the Proposed Tentative Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18.  The presentation outline was: Enrollment Projections, Taxable Property Values, Proposed Budget and the Timeline.

Public Hearing
5. Public Hearing


Chairperson Belford declared the public hearing open at: 5:53 p.m.

She explained that speakers would be taken in the following order.

  • 2017-18 Proposed Millage Levy
  • 2017-18 Tentative Budget

Chairperson Belford asked twice if there were any individuals who wanted to address the Board on the 2017-18 Millage Levy.

  • Dan Bennett

Chairperson Belford asked twice if there were any individuals who wanted to address the Board on the 2017-18 Budget.

  • Anthony Colucci
  • Vanessa Skipper

Chairperson Belford concluded the public hearing at: 6:04 p.m.

Superintendent's Recommendation
6. Adopt Proposed 2017-18 Millage Rates


Adopt proposed 2017-18 millage rates of:

Operating Fund:
    Required Local Effort 4.320
    Local Discretionary 0.748
Capital Outlay: 1.500
Total: 6.568

Vote Results
Motion: John Craig
Second: Andrew Ziegler
Misty Belford- Aye
John Craig- Aye
Tina Descovich- Aye
Matthew Susin- Aye
Andrew Ziegler- Aye

7. Adopt the 2017-18 Tentative Budget
Attachment: All Funds Book July 2017-FINAL.pdf

Mr. Ziegler said he was unable to support the budget as presented as the Federally Connected Dollars had been placed in the operating budget.  He felt strongly that these funds should remain in capital.

Board discussion ensued.  Chairperson Belford commented on a conversation she had with Senator Thad Altman regarding the Federally Connected Dollars.  Senator Altman said his only concern that when time came to fight for these dollars again, that we can justify the use. Chairperson Belford said that out of the 5,533 students that are included in the calculation of our Federal Impact Aid, not Federally Connected calculation although it funnels to that calculation.  Out of those students, only 5.8% of those students live on federal land.  She continued that .9%  of those children are civilian families that live on base and 5.1% are employed by the government. Our low rent housing students make up 9 percent. She continued that the  bulk of the students who qualify us for the Federally Connected dollars are students whose parents work on federal property which amounts to 63.4 percent.  She further commented that 60 percent of the land in Brevard is exempt from property tax. This land spans the length of our county. She argues that she does not feel that we can support our federally connected students through capital and when she is looking at the needs of those students, she feels they can better be served through operational dollars.

Mr. Ziegler said that he still does not believe we are where we should be with capital dollars. If we do not renew our half-cent sales tax, we will not be able to maintain our facilities.  He said he still cannot support moving the dollars unless he sees a plan that this money would not be used as general revenue.

Chairperson Belford asked Ms. Zuercher to clarify that those Federally Connected dollars would have district-wide impact.  Ms. Zuercher said that the monies would be going to fund the 16 instructional coaches, the social workers, regional bussing and salary increases if the Board chooses.  Mr. Zuercher said that if we do not move the Federally Connected dollars, we cannot fund all of the priorities.

Ms. Descovich asked specifically what we would be able to fund if the Federally Connected dollars are not moved to operating.  Ms. Zuercher said that we would still fund some form of salary increases, Southlake Choice School, suicide prevention programs and regional bussing.  

Mr. Craig thinks the flexibility the legislation has provided to apportion funds as necessary from year to year is what they have been asking for.  He said that in this case, in this year, in this situation, we need to utilize our best judgement to affect students and feels it is the right thing to do.

Mr. Susin stated that the budget priority list was made prior to the Board being privy to actual numbers and was based on estimates. He dropped off his initial priorities based on those estimates and feels it is unfair not to revisit budget priorities now that dollar amounts are known.

Mr. Craig said that when we did the budget workshop, we did not know any numbers and we prioritized based on what was best for the students and for the district. 

Ms. Belford interjected that the motion is to accept the tentative 2017-18 budget, not go over the budget priorities.  She suggested that those can be discussed prior to the final public hearing.

Mr. Susin asked Ms. Zuercher to clarify that she had provided some estimates to which she said there were long range forecasts given.



Adopt the 2017-18 Tentative Budget in the following amounts:

Operating $609,943,592
Special Revenue     92,575,887
Debt Service     40,323,877
Capital Outlay     215,685,003
Enterprise       5,023,263
Subtotal $963,551,622
Less Transfers     49,815,129
Total $913,736,493
Internal Service   $94,837,300

Vote Results
Motion: John Craig
Second: Tina Descovich
Misty Belford- Aye
John Craig- Aye
Tina Descovich- Aye
Matthew Susin- Aye
Andrew Ziegler- Nay

8. Authorize the Superintendent to Take the Following Actions


Authorize the Superintendent to take the following actions:

1. Notify both the Property Appraiser and the Tax Collector of the Proposed 2017-18 Millage and Rolled Back Rates:

Operating Fund Rolled-Back Rates:
    Required Local Effort 4.3552
    Local Discretionary 0.6979
Capital Outlay Rolled-Back Rate 1.3995
Total Rolled-Back Rate 6.4526

2.  Notify both the Property Appraiser and the Tax Collector of the Final Public Hearing on September 7, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at the Educational Services Facility in Viera.

3. Adjust the revenues and expenditures, if necessary, prior to the Final Public Hearing.


Vote Results
Motion: Andrew Ziegler
Second: John Craig
Misty Belford- Aye
John Craig- Aye
Tina Descovich- Aye
Matthew Susin- Aye
Andrew Ziegler- Aye

9. Adjournment


Prior to meeting adjournment, Chairperson Belford read the following statement:


She adjourned the meeting at:  6:38 p.m.

For further details pertaining to this meeting, please refer to the published video on the School Board of Brevard County's website (www.brevardschools.org).