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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida's per-student funding remains lower than five years ago, despite Gov. Rick Scott's praise for his "education budget"




Surrounded by school children, Florida Gov. Rick Scott this week signed the state's new $70 billion spending plan into law saying, "All of us are very focused on education. This is an education budget."

FEA president Andy Ford panned the governor's happy talk. And he wasn't alone.

The Gradebook received comments and e-mails also expressing an opposing point of view. One set of figures stood out.

"I wanted to remind you that we are now receiving $678.45 less per child this year than we were at the start of the 2007-2008 school year," Pasco schools spokeswoman Summer Romagnoli said in an e-mail. "Next year, we are scheduled to receive $576.32 per child less than we did in 2007-2008."

Scott responded to such criticism with the Orlando Sentinel.

The Sentinel reports that Scott said in a meeting with its editorial board that he had increased state funding for education — the only area he has control over.

"We increased the portion of your tax dollars that went into education," while also taking care of other key priorities, he said. "It's not like there are unlimited dollars out here."

(Associated Press photo)

[Last modified: Thursday, April 19, 2012 2:42pm]


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