St. Johns County school district feeling growing pains

District says their proud of growth, but need help with funding

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – St. John's County is one of the top ranked school districts in the state, but their budget is having trouble keeping up with their success. 

School leaders in St. Johns County told Channel 4 that they are figuring out how to balance the growth in their district. More and more people are moving to St. Johns County because of their #1 ranking.

"I'm willing to pay a little bit more to live in this city, and with the school district, it's just a bonus," said Sean Hess.

Hess told Channel 4 that is typically the response he hears while showing families homes in St. Johns County. Hess is a Realtor with St. Augustine Team Realty, and says one of his strongest selling points are the community's schools. 

The growth is both a blessing and a curse for the top rated school district with more than 30,000 students.

St. Johns County Superintendent, Joe Joyner, said that since 2008, the district has grown 20 percent each year. Even though two new schools are currently under construction, Joyner said, there will be a need for even more schools in five years. 

"When you're growing as fast as we are, we need resources to build schools, so that's our biggest issue, is finding those resources to build schools ," said Joyner. 

Joyner plans to put pressure on state lawmakers to pump more funding into the district. So far, the district is managing it's current growth with a $245 million budget for next year.