Local education projects hit in Gov. Rick Scott's veto plans
In anticipation of receiving the FY 2017 budget, Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday issued his list of anticipated line item vetoes within the document.
The $49 million for Best and Brightest teacher bonuses was not among the proposed cuts, despite much encouragement to kill that program in its second year. But a handful of projects for local schools did land on the list.
Among those were:
- $11 million for construction of a performing arts center at Pasco-Hernando State College. In the planning stages for two years, the project was not identified as a priority by the college, the governor stated in his message.
- $250,000 for the renovation of the recently closed Moore-Mickens Education Center in Dade City. The governor stated that details for the program were not provided.
- $250,000 for career path planning by the Pinellas Education Foundation. The governor stated that money is available elsewhere in the budget for this initiative.
- $1.37 million for public school technology in Hillsborough schools. The governor stated that money is available in other parts of the budget for this expense.
In his budget announcement, the governor touted "historic" funding levels for K-12 education, including a $71 per student increase over last year. School district officials have complained that the money is not enough to cover more than expected growth.
Now that the governor has released his plans, supporters of the various projects can lobby him to change his mind. The Legislature has not yet presented its final budget for approval.