Gov. Rick Scott unveils full Florida education budget proposal
Two days after announcing his "historic" education spending plan, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has released the details of his budget request.
In his proposal, which Scott calls the "It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget," Scott calls for $18.84 billion in total public education funding, including local revenue sources. The state's portion would be $10.6 billion.
That's about $540 million higher than last year's budget, and comes on the heels of a $1 billion increase that brought teacher raises for the first time in years. It helps to erase Scott's first year move to slash education spending by about $1.3 billion.
Among the highlights, Scott recommends $8.9 million for summer algebra, $40 million for school technology, $13.4 million for training on new standards, and $15.8 million for mentoring and similar programs. The governor's plan also would reduce funding for Bright Futures scholarships and fixed capital outlay.
For higher education, Scott proposes increased funding for colleges and universities, while insisting that tuition rates remain flat.
In comparison, the State Board of Education issued a legislative budget request in the fall of $16.96 billion.
Lawmakers greeted Scott's proposal as they usually do, at arm's length. "As always, the House will take the Governor’s proposal into careful consideration as we work to develop a responsible budget that maximizes every dollar and prioritizes funding in the best interest of all Floridians without raising taxes on our hardworking families," House appropriations chairman Seth McKeel said in a prepared statement.