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School Planning

School Planning is the process of planning and designing new district schools while monitoring development approval and the pace of new residential construction to ensure that educational impacts are properly mitigated.

William Whitson

District School Intergovernmental Planner

386-437-7526 x1313

FCSBplanner@flaglerschools.com

School Concurrency

School Concurrency is the coordinated planning for future growth to ensure that school capacity is available at the time new residential development generates students that would impact school enrollment. Flagler County has seen significant residential growth over the past several years and with that growth increases in school enrollment. This growth is expected to continue in the future, and it is important that we plan ahead for it now.

Flagler County Residential Growth

  • Approximately 800 new students countywide since 2020/21
  • Approximately 200 new students in Flagler Schools during the 2023–24 school year (October 2023 count)
  • Approximately 21,800 new residential units are planned for Flagler County over the next 10 years. This growth will generate approximately 270 new students each year on average according to a report from Power School in February 2024.
  • Approximately 3,000 permits were issued in 2023 by all local jurisdictions in Flagler County. Palm Coast (our largest city) issued most of the permits.
Housing New Student Statistics Bar Graph

Growth Planning

To plan for future growth, Flagler Schools has rezoned our middle and high schools. Our current Five-Year Work Plan contains plans for a Matanzas High School addition to be open in 2025. Construction of a new middle school, and construction of a new high school are our next potential projects. The preliminary cost projections for these projects combined are approximately $398 million.
     

  • Addition to Matanzas High School: $23 million
  • New High School Estimate: $225 million
  • New Middle School Estimate: $150 million
Projected Students from New Residential Development

Funding Sources

If we are to build new schools or even re-imagine future school facilities with modern technological capability, school districts are limited as to how they can pay for these needed projects. Previously, there were as many as eight separate funding sources for such projects, but since 2004, five of those sources have been phased out. These were used when the State last saw rapid growth and accounted for almost half of the funding sources at the time. Additionally, unlike other local governments, school districts do not have the ability to set their own property tax rates. That is done by the state legislature. Other than taking out loans or bonds, the primary source of money to help build a new school is through School Impact Fees. From 2022- to the first quarter of 2024 the latest reports show that impact and mitigation fees totaled about $21,593,245.24 

For additional data on Flagler County Schools and how we compare to other District systems please see the information from the State Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR).  

 

School Impact Fees

School impact fees are one-time charges assessed on a new home to help pay for new or expanded public school facilities that will directly address the increased demand created by that development. This is money that cannot be collected if an existing home is sold or if it is commercial construction. The District’s impact fees are used to offset costs of construction for new student stations, as well as debt service payments related to 2004 and 2005 construction projects for Rymfire Elementary and Matanzas High School.

State lawmakers recently enacted a new law preventing local governments, including district school boards, from increasing impact fees by more than 50% during any four-year period. However, if the government can prove “extraordinary circumstances,” that 50% threshold can be excluded.

The District commissioned an independent Impact Fee Study, which was completed in 2021. The results of the study showed that school impact fees should be increased to the $7,175 for a single-family home. Subsequent to the Impact Fee Study, multiple district school board meetings were convened in which the case for “extraordinary circumstances” was presented, with the district school board members agreeing that extraordinary circumstances existed.

The current fees were set during the 2021-22 fiscal year within Resolution #2021/22-07, which included Inter Local Agreements (ILA) between the District and all jurisdictions in the County with regard to the assessed impact fee amount. As a result, the current impact fees are as follows:

1) Single-family home - $5,450;

2) Multi-family home - $1,360; and

3) Mobile home - $2,150.

The 2021-22 ILA sets forth student enrollment growth targets that would trigger future increases for school impact fees. When student enrollment increases by 500 based on the FDOE October Full-Time Equivalent count, the impact fees will increase as follows by the following amounts:

1) Single-family home - $500;

2) Multi-family home - $125; and

3). Mobile home - $850.

 

2024 Student Generation Analysis