The new members of a House education budget panel got a lesson today in how to do their jobs.
It’s information the Florida House Education Appropriations Subcommittee will need before starting the work of crafting a massive education budget for 2013-14.
The state’s education budget this year is $20.3-billion. That’s 29 percent of Florida’s $70-billion budget for 2012-13.
Subcommittee Budget Chief Allyce Heflin tried to prepare members for the work ahead.
“This subcommittee will receive an allocation,” Heflin said. “That is a pot of money within which you have to live.”
She explained terms like base budget, conforming bills, and legislative budget requests.
Here are some other terms she defined:
Appropriation = It’s not cash; it’s budget authority. The Legislature provides budget authority to spend.
Program = This is a set of services or activities approved in a budgetary line item.
Budget entity = The lowest unit of function where funds are specifically appropriated.
Florida increased education funding this year by $273 per student.
Even after adding more than a $1 billion in funding to the K-12 system, Florida still spends $296 less per student — adjusted for inflation — than before the recession began.