Superintendent Phillip Page announced that 81% of students will begin the school year on-campus on August 5th. The other 19% will start with distance learning on August 10th.

The school board approved a new fiscal year budget during the business meeting. The budget calls for a reduced general fund balance of 4.5 million dollars. State funding for Bartow Schools will drop by around 10.1 million dollars.

The drop in state funding will force Bartow schools to rely on more local revenue. The board approved a tentative millage rate of 18.75 mils. It is the same rate as the last fiscal year. However, it is being advertised as a tax increase due to the rise in property fair market value.

The board will hold public meetings at eleven a.m. and six p.m. on Thursday, July 30th, on the tentative millage rate.

We will post the budget as soon as the school system releases it. Below are millage rate related documents.

During the work session, ten people spoke about their dismay on the school board’s handling of recent controversies surrounding a teacher and a board member. We’ll have more on that soon.

Tune into our local newscasts throughout the day Tuesday for more.