Florida House, Senate closer on education budget for 2010-11
Florida House and Senate education budget conferees meet again at 5 p.m. to go over their remaining differences. Before that happens, we share the current side-by-side on the two proposals for how the state would spend its public school money for the coming fiscal year.
At the bottom line, the two chambers have arrived at an agreement for total funding amounts for each school district. They generally agree on class size, instructional materials and charter schools.
Some key differences exist. They include:
Voluntary prekindergarten -- the Senate would increase the numbers of students per teacher, the House would not.
School grades -- the Senate would eliminate points for students taking AP, IB, AICE and industry certification courses who do not complete the course, the House would not
School recognition -- the House would allocate awards of $75 per student, the Senate would allocate $73.78 per student
FCAT -- the House would set aside $990,000 to continue FCAT Explorer, the Senate would not
Critical needs millage -- the Senate would remove the requirement of a referendum to continue a .25 mill critical needs tax after 2010-11, the House would require a referendum
"We've got until noon tomorrow. Whatever we don't agree on goes to someone else," Senate Education Appropriations chairman Steve Wise told the Gradebook. "We're really very close." Stay tuned.