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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Rick Scott's $1 billion for education isn't all new money



Gov. Rick Scott has made a lot of noise about the imperative to pump money back into Florida's public schools. His magic number has been $1 billion, a bit less than the amount he agreed to cut from the system a year ago.

As lawmakers learn more about Scott's proposal, though, they're seeing that his $1 billion isn't all new money.

The House Pre-K-12 budget subcommittee today heard from Scott's key education policy guy, Scott Kittel, that about $220 million would simply be to offset losses from declining property tax revenue, while another like amount would be to replace nonrecurring one-time revenue from last year's budget.

Other details, appearing in the committee's agenda packet, include: 

  • $190 million for 30,567 additional students at current year amount of $6,230.40 per student (FTE).
  • $381 million for additional per student funding which allows: 1) Doubling the funding for reading instruction, and 2) Returning the reward amount for the School Recognition Program to $100 per student from $70 per student in the current year for schools that improve a letter grade or maintain an "A."

Kittel told the committee that while it's not new money, it does represent the administration's commitment to fill expected budget holes, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Legislative leaders have yet to set their budgets for 2012-13, with some lawmakers calling for delays until the revenue streams are more clear. Pre-K-12 budget chairwoman Marti Coley said she expected to have more details out as early as next week.  

[Last modified: Friday, January 13, 2012 2:48pm]


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