ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- St. Johns County public schools are consistently ranked among the best in the state. As a result, more families are moving there so their kids can get the best education in our area.
However, with that comes growing pains. The district predicts it will have a hard time keeping up with the steady stream of new students.
Tim Forson, the deputy superintendent of operations for St. Johns County schools, said they're seeing anywhere from 700 to 1000 new students every year. "That's almost a school a year," he said.
But there's a problem: the district doesn't have the money to build a new school every year.
Action News asked, "Do you need more elementary schools? Do you need more high schools?" Forson replied, "I think probably were in the best shape in high schools." He went on to say, "Elementary and middle school is where it's always a challenge."
While St. Johns County may outshine other districts in academics, one thing it has in common with every school district in Florida is a lack of funding from the state.
"There's not state funding that's coming forward to help you with construction," said Forson. "So, it's all local dollars that determine your ability to build a school."
Forson said those local dollars come from impact fees paid by new residents. And he said restoring the millage rate would help. But until then, they're taking the growth as it comes, flattered so many familes want to call St. Johns County home. "For us its exciting. It's new children, new families," he said.
Florida has 67 school districts. The Florida Department of Education ranks St. Johns County no. 1. Clay County is no. 13. Nassau County no. 14. Duval County is no. 50.
The rankings are based on FCAT scores.