School Money

By: Jason Davis
By: Jason Davis

Liberty County has a very old middle school. To update the facility the school district applied to the Florida Department of Education. It allocates funds to help schools in rural communities.

Liberty County recently applied for such a grant and was turned down. They chose the wrong school.

Cracks in the walls, hallways that flood when it rains, and a media center that state officials call a book room; school officials in Liberty County applied for special funding last summer to address the dilapidated conditions at Hosford Elementary and Junior High School.

"We as a board agreed that Hosford would be our number one project. The DOE has rejected us on that."

State education officials recently told Liberty District Schools that their only chance of getting funding was to use it on one of their newest facilities, the Liberty County High School. The entire situation has the some in the community perplexed.

Jill Davis, Hosford Principal, says, "We jumped through all the hoops that the powers that be expected us to and I can see no reason for there refusal."

One major problem with the Hosford campus is that the main building was built in the 30s. Many of the classrooms at Hosford School are only equipped with two electrical outlets. Educators say this limits the amount of technology they can put in a classroom.

"Many miles of electrical cords to try to accommodate the computers that we need there for the children to be able to have exposure to technology.

Liberty County is considered rural by state standards. It has a population of just under 7,000.

Nearly two-thirds of them are tax exempt and over 51 percent of the students at Hosford are on free or reduced lunch.

Ken Hosford, a parent, says, "It makes you wonder why they've accumulated all this money for education in the state of Florida. If not for a needy little school like ours, if we don't fit the profile my goodness, who does?"

That is a question that has yet to be answered.

To receive the state funding, the Liberty District School Board would have to move their 6th, 7th, and 8th grade from Hosford to Liberty County High School. That is a move that the board and the public in Liberty County are standing firmly against.

Hosford School has been an "A" rated school for the last three years.


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