Crist rolls out education budget
Gov. Charlie Crist rolled out a proposed education budget this morning that includes a 5.46 percent increase in per-pupil spending - up $394 from last year's funding, to a total of $7,606 per student.
The $33.5 billion package ($23 billion for preK-12) includes $138 million to fully fund any hits that K-12 would take if voters approve the property-tax amendment on Jan. 29. It also includes $847 million for class-size reduction, $467 million for teacher bonuses and $202 million for reading programs and virtual tutors.
Universities and community colleges are bracing for a grim budget this session, but if lawmakers follow the governor's lead, things won't be so bad. Though tuition will continue to be a tussle.
Crist, FSU grad, proposes $5.42 billion for state universities and community colleges - but no tuition increase.
He recommends a $52-million increase for new student enrollment at Florida's 11 state universities and a $23-million increase for medical schools at Florida State University , Florida International University and University of Central Florida . He also proposes a $56-million increase to community colleges' annual budgets to help meet enrollment growth.
To help establish additional Centers of Excellence at the research universities like USF, Crist proposes $60 million that can be used toward biotech and clean technology research.
To see more budget details, click here.