Putting Education Reform To The Test

Florida House Education Panel Gets A Language Lesson


Members of the Florida House are learning terms they'll be using frequently as they help craft the education budget.

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.


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