Putting Education Reform To The Test

Florida’s Education Budget By The Numbers

Tom Urban/News Service of Florida

Gov. Rick Scott announces the signing of the budget in Tallahassee and explains why tuition hikes and other items were vetoed.

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a budget that’s very different than the one he’s been paying for since he authorized massive education cuts two years ago.

Back then, pundits speculated Scott may have sealed his fate as a one term governor when he proposed a few billion dollars worth of cuts to education. Scott, for his part, seemed surprised by the widespread backlash.

Ultimately, education lost about $1.3 billion in funding in 2011 – and cuts were necessary in many areas thanks to a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall.

The governor has been trying to make up for it since then.

Scott was able to get close to a billion dollars put back into education last year and a little more than a billion was added to the budget he signed yesterday. Scott calls it the Florida Families First budget.

The total K-12 education budget for 2013-14 is $20.3 billion. Per student funding increased more than $400 to $6,779, and $480 million was set aside to boost salaries for teachers and administrators.

Here are more numbers from the Governor’s Office:   

  • K-12 Public School Funding: $45.3 million for the Teacher Classroom Supply Program. It provides each teacher approximately $250 for classroom supplies, and $45.8 million for rural districts in order to cover higher costs the districts incur due to sparse student population.

  • K-12 Development Disability Services: $13.1 million in K-12 state grants for an array of exceptional education programs and services to students with developmental disabilities. $45.7 million is provided for the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, which is the state-supported residential school for eligible sensory-impaired students in preschool through the twelfth grade.

  • K-12 Rural School Districts: $7.4 million in funding to assist rural school districts. Includes $6 million for technology transformation grants to assist districts in establishing a wireless network or expanding an existing wireless network.

  • School Building Maintenance: $90.6 million in PECO (Public Education Capital Outlay) funding for critical deferred maintenance for charter schools. Provides $20 million in PECO funding for other traditional public schools.

  • Early Learning: $404.9 million toward the Voluntary Pre-K (VPK) program, and $552.5 million for the School Readiness program.

  • Florida College System: $20 million in new funds for state college operating costs, $3.9 million for operating and maintenance costs of new facilities opening in FY 2013-14, and $5 million in performance funding based on associated industry certifications.

  • State University System: Restoration of the $300 million in recurring funding to the university system with performance measures and $50 million in performance funding based on performance metrics which will measure a university’s success in helping students obtain high paying jobs affordably.

  • College and University Building Maintenance: $41.7 million in PECO funding for critical deferred maintenance for Florida College system projects and $44.4 million in PECO funding for critical deferred maintenance items for State University system projects.

  • Student Financial Aid: Increases need-based financial aid by $3.3 million.


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