The funding gap is growing every year. One commissioner suggests raising tax rates as a solution. But we can't tax ourselves out of the problem. Fewer students each year means less funding from the state, which means unless we continue to right-size our facilities and our overhead, the gap between school board requests and money we have to fund them is going to grow wider and wider each year. The county contributes close to $7,000 per student to the school budget. Combined state and federal contributions are about $6,500 per student. When we lose students, we lose the per-student funds from the state and federal sources. Even if we keep the overall school budget flat, the county has to make up for the missing funds themselves. But it's worse — our school budget is increasing while our school population is decreasing.