Under my proposal, the school district would be able to create the fund using revenue generated from federal reimbursements. Quincy’s schools already earn well over $1 million a year in federal Medicaid reimbursements for services provided to eligible students. Currently, the reimbursements are deposited in the City’s general fund, and the schools do not have access to it. The key point is that schools are generating revenue for the city, but not seeing a return.
Our city posted substantial surpluses in recent years, some of which far exceeded the amount I?m talking about here. Therefore, the creation of such of fund would not harm the city?s financial well-being, nor would it impact other city services. Since the funding is already included in the overall financial picture, there is no additional cost to the taxpayers.
There are a number of programs within the school system that have proven very successful, but have often struggled to raise the funds needed to operate. Many of these programs have high student demand. In addition, computers and internet access within the schools are substantially lacking in quality and reliability. The creation of a quality fund would allow schools to address these problems outside of usual budget constraints.
I believe that it?s time to broaden the dialogue, and start talking about how we can improve quality in every classroom across the city. In the world today, children need 21st century skills. We need to take innovative steps to help ensure their success.
For more information on the School $ense program and other issues surrounding Quincy?s schools, visit my website at www.nickpuleo.com.