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Leon Schools Seeking Approval On Budget; In Need Of Mentors

The Leon County School Board is getting closer to approving a $280 million budget for the upcoming school year.  The board’s Tuesday meeting was aimed at getting public input on the budget, but no one showed up to speak.

"The statutes outline a procedure through which we have to have this discussion a certain number of times," said Board member Dee Dee Rasmussen. "It’s been advertised multiple times in the media...I’ve been interviewed. It’s been in the Democrat, its been on TV, I’ve even put it on facebook."

The budget for the upcoming school year includes teacher pay raises. Leon County teachers also received salary increases last year.  The board will hold a final vote on the budget at its September 10th meeting.

Meanwhile, board members also repeated their call for more mentors. The district kicked off a mentorship drive last week, and board chairwoman Joy Bowen says she's pleased with the effort so far, but she wants people who sign up to be dedicated to the task:

“In my mind, there’s nothing worse than to have a kid expecting you to show up and you’re not able to be there. So we respectfully ask you look very carefully to make sure you can provide the time," Bowen said.

Mentors for the school district spend an hour a week with a child. The program is open to kids in all grades. The district’s partners include Tallahassee’s three colleges, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Big Bend and United Way.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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