Jefferson Elementary School

Local lawmakers want $250,000 to renovate the St. Marks lighthouse.
By Mosamiazaz / wikimedia Commons

Florida lawmakers are heading back to Tallahassee June first to pick up where they left off on budget negotiations. The Big Bend’s regional delegation is banking on the special session to get some local projects funded.

The Jefferson County School District is about half the size it was a decade ago. Fewer students means less money. The district was able to build a new, combined middle-high school about five years ago with state funding, but the district now faces controversy over whether the district should build a new elementary school to replace the one that’s falling apart.

Jefferson School Superintendent Al Cooksey lost his re-election bid Tuesday.
LHatter / WFSU News

This week, thousands of students across the Big Bend head back to the classrooms for the start of another school year. While its business as usual for many of those districts, in Jefferson County--the worst school district in the state-- there’s a lot at stake for the teachers, administrators and its superintendent.

Jefferson County School Superintendent Al Cooksey is very blunt about the current state of the district he now runs.