Local lawmaker among senators seeking school funding study

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Two Republican senators Tuesday requested a study of a long-controversial part of Florida's school-funding formula, arguing it helps urban school districts at the expense of suburban and rural districts.

Senate Education Chairwoman Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, and Sen. Travis Hutson, R-Elkton, sent a letter to Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, seeking a study of what is known as the “district cost differential.”

That part of the school-funding formula takes into account costs of living in different parts of the state and has repeatedly spurred legislative debates over the years.

In the letter, Hukill and Hutson said, in part, that the so-called DCD has the effect of reducing money allotted to some school districts while increasing money going to other districts.

They requested that the Legislature's Office of Economic & Demographic Research and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability “conduct a study of the DCD and provide recommendations on what factors are used to determine the DCD, what the appropriate formula should be, how allocations should be distributed among the school districts, are there alternatives to the DCD, and whether the DCD should be eliminated.”