Gov. Rick Scott signs several education bills into Florida law
Just days before the deadline, Gov. Rick Scott signed seven education bills into Florida law on Monday. They included the Florida Education Finance Program that boosted per student funding by $100 after a contentious special session, the expansion of the state's Gardiner and tax credit scholarships that assist students attending private schools, and a revision of rules for how parents and other county residents can challenge public school instructional materials.
The bills are: HB 3A (FEFP), HB 15 (school choice), HB 989 (instructional materials), HB 1109 (private school student participation in public school extracurriculars), HB 781 (school grades), HB 1239 (school bus safety), and HB 899 (transitional education programs).
Scott issued a statement touting the increased funding:
"I'm proud to continue our fight to increase funding for our K-12 schools and for legislation that truly benefits our students, teachers and families. Growing up, I was lucky to have the opportunity to achieve my goals thanks to a great public education. Our students are the future of our state and I'm incredibly proud to sign legislation today to ensure they have every opportunity for success. The additional $100 per-student, along with our expansion of the Gardiner Scholarship, allows even more Florida students to receive a world-class education and live their dreams in our state. I would like to thank Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran for their hard work during the Special Session."
Leaders of several school districts have said the budget covers growth but does not consider inflationary costs of things such as insurance. Many have begun proposing spending cuts to make up the gap between the anticipated revenue and projected expenses.
All the new laws take effect on July 1.