Funding Priorities

Continued from 2018-19:

  • Pay raises for all employees: $6.6M
  • Funding for student activities and the arts: $1M
  • Deans for every middle school: $250K
  • Additional operating funds for schools: $1M
  • Additional funding for textbooks: $500K
  • Additional funding for student desks and equipment: $1M
  • School safety monitors: $1.2M
  • School behavioral specialists: $800K

Continued from 2018-19:

  • Funds for additional pay raises for all employees: $6.4M
  • Enrichment for elementary and middle/special schools: $300K
  • Additional support for lower-performing schools: $300K
  • Restorative Justice programs in select schools: $100K
  • Additional funding for pre-kindergarten programs: $100K

Leadership When it Matters Most

After months of planning, Superintendent Hanna implemented a school reopening plan that empowered families to choose the best method for keeping their children safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under his leadership, Leon County Schools opened two school systems on August 31, each with approximately 15,000 students, simultaneously in-person and online.

“Now is the time for all of us to get busy again. Teachers teaching and students learning,” said Rocky Hanna. “As the former Chief Justice once said, ‘we must meet the challenge rather than simply wish it was not here.’ With hard work and perseverance, we will meet the challenge. Those of us in public education have said for many years we should be considered essential workers. This is our chance to prove it. Our children are depending on us.”

Protect Students Teachers, And Staff


Following the Parkland shooting, Superintendent Hanna established a detailed safety plan for each school, including hiring 49 sworn law enforcement officers and 50 safety patrol monitors for the district. He also partnered with DISC Village to hire 20 mental health counselors and place them at each school.



Superintendent Hanna eliminated millions of dollars in wasteful spending that had been occurring at the district level and redirected those funds to directly benefit our students.

As a result, many schools have been able to purchase new classroom furniture and technology for the first time in more than a decade. The district is also finally paying a living wage to bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and substitute teachers, raising the salaries of these important support staff more in the past three years than in the prior decade.



At our Southside schools…

Superintendent Hanna invested $100,000 to fund full-day pre-K programs. He partnered with the Early Learning Coalition, Head Start, and more than 180 private pre-K providers to offer quality early education to our youngest learners. He established community partnerships to provide at-risk students with wraparound services, including the first-ever community school between Sabal Palm Elementary and FSU, FAMU, and Children’s Home Society. There is a second developing community partnership between Purpose Built Communities and Hartsfield Elementary School

Superintendent Hanna also funded much-needed capital improvements and upgrades at Rickards High School and Fairview Middle School, and allocated extra funding for field trips, supplies, and activities at schools serving low socioeconomic communities.

From tots to technical programs…

Superintendent Hanna eliminated “Ds” and “Fs” from kindergarten and 1st-grade report cards, replacing them with “N’s” for “not yet” — helping our youngest students develop a mindset of success.

Under his leadership, Leon County’s graduation rate climbed to 93% — the 5th highest in Florida. 

Superintendent Hanna expanded career/technical and vocational programs at Lively Technical College, partnering with the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and CareerSource Capital Region to prepare graduates for Tallahassee’s diverse job market.



From his many years as a classroom teacher, Superintendent Hanna understands how behavioral issues can impact an entire classroom. That’s why he hired 22 behavioral specialists to help elementary classroom teachers constructively handle behavioral issues. These experts are also charged with conducting risk assessments to identify those students who can benefit from special support.

Superintendent Hanna recognizes that our youngest students are still kids and need play to release built-up energy. As a result, he implemented guidelines so all elementary students get at least 20 minutes of recess daily.

At the middle school level, he hired deans to supervise student discipline and established programs to help individual students overcome the behavioral challenges they face.



Superintendent Hanna transformed Leon County Schools into one of the most fiscally stable, secure, and sound school districts in Florida. Rather than waste tax dollars, he cut capital debt by $170 million and has the district on track to be debt-free by the 2027/28 school year.

At the same time, he increased the district’s emergency reserve fund by $2 million. As a result, the district earned exemplary evaluations on audit reports and from the Florida Department of Education’s Inspector General.

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