Budget plans reveal Florida House, Senate far apart in school construction dollars
The state House is proposing to give Florida's 650 charter schools almost twice as much of the state's sought-after school construction dollars than traditional public schools next year.
But over in the Senate, members wants to give them zilch, while traditional public schools would still get $50 million.
At least on paper.
The figures come from each chamber's proposed budget bills, released today. But House and Senate education budget committee chairmen caution not to read too much into the proposed line-items.
It's still relatively early in the legislative budget process, and both Senate Chairman Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and House Chairman Erik Fresen, R-Miami, said this week that they hadn't finalized figures for fixed capital outlay dollars yet nor determined how much exactly should go to either traditional public schools or charter schools.
Fresen said in a text message today that the specifics will be hashed out later when House and Senate leaders eventually meet in conference committee to settle on the final state budget.
"Those are block numbers," he said, referring to the fixed capital outlay line-items. "It doesn't really mean much right now."
But the proposed figures offer insight into each chamber's priorities and potential bargaining chips going forward.