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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Education funding like it's 2005



Members of the Florida House Pre-K-12 Education Appropriations Subcommittee are raising many questions this morning about Gov. Rick Scott's proposal to change the education funding formula, in which Scott seeks to decrease per student funding by $703. (Watch here.)

Republicans and Democrats alike are suggesting that the governor is playing games with numbers, moving funds from one line to the next in a way that is confusing. Scott has stated that the proposed $703 reduction actually is closer to $300 after taking into account employee contributions to their pensions and Edujobs funding, which districts would not have to spend. (See the governor's Power Point presentation on the budget here.)

Several told the governor's spokesman to head back to the drawing board and make some changes. (More from the Buzz here.) Whatever happens, consider this.

The governor has put forth a plan that would reduce per student funding to a level it hasn't seen since 2005, even as districts are constitutionally required to maintain much smaller class sizes than they had in 2005. Scott's proposal is to set per student funding at $6,196, or $6,600 if you add back $195 for FRS employee contributions and $209 for Education Jobs Funds.

Here's what the first calculation over the past decade looked like:

  • 02-03              $5,206.85 
  • 03-04              $5,524.86 (+6%)
  • 04-05              $5,764.40 (+4%)
  • 05-06              $6,133.97 (+6%)
  • 06-07              $6,789.68 (+10%)
  • 07-08             $7,305.79 (+7%)
  • 08-09              $6,997.37 (-4%)
  • 09-10              $6,873.07 (-1.7%)
  • 10-11              $6,843.51 (-0.1%)

Any thoughts as to how far the governor's budget proposal gets?

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 4:16pm]


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