World-Class Education for Florida Students
 
A great education allowed Governor Scott and First Lady Ann Scott to live their dreams. Florida’s K-12 system is focused on preparing every student for college or a career when they graduate. The current year’s $18.9 billion budget for Florida public schools is the highest level of funding in Florida history. The Governor also worked to secure pay raises for Florida teachers in Fiscal Year 2013-2014. In order to build on these achievements, the “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget continues the Governor’s commitment to education by again making historic investments to ensure every Florida student has the tools needed to succeed in the classroom, because the workers and leaders of tomorrow are in the classroom today.
 
Historic Level of Funding
Funding Amount
K-12 Public Schools – Total Funding
$19.75 billion
K-12 Public Schools – State Funding
$11 billion
K-12 Public Schools – Per-Student Funding
$7,176
Florida College System – Total Funding
$2 billion
Florida College System – State Operating Funding
$1.17 billion
State University System – Total Funding
$4.5 billion
State University System – State Operating Funding
$2.10 billion
 
Florida is a National Leader in Education
 
·         Florida ranks 7th for academic achievement according to the Quality Counts report.
·         Florida’s graduation rates are at an 11-year high – increasing nearly 17 percentage points since 2003-2004.
·         A NAEP report released in May showed Florida’s 12th grade Hispanic students’ average scores in reading were significantly higher than the nation.
·         The National Council on Teacher Quality has twice ranked Florida’s teacher quality policies best in the nation.
·         In the past five years, Florida has increased enrollment in accelerated STEM courses by 46 percent.
·         Florida is ranked 1st for 21st century teaching force (B+).
·         Florida is ranked 1st for technology (A).
·         Florida is 2nd on percentage of students who passed an AP World Languages Exam (5.23 percent).
·         A recent Blueprint for College Readiness report says Florida has nine of 10 policies in place that will improve college readiness.
 
Highest Per-Student Funding in Florida History - The “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget includes historic totalhighest per pupil funding and per-student funding for K-12 public schools:
 
·         $7,176 per-student in funding, which is the highest ever in Florida’s history. This is $50 higher than the previous record of $7,126 in Fiscal Year 2007-2008.
·         $19.75 billion in total funding for K-12 public schools, which is the highest level for the second year in a row, exceeding the $18.9 billion that was provided in Fiscal Year 2014-2015.
·         A total increase of $842.5 million in funding for K-12 public schools, of which 390.7 million is state funding.
·         $11.04 billion in state contributions for K-12 public schools – the highest ever, for the third year in a row.
 
Increase in state education funding of $390.7 million includes:
 
·         A $40 million increase, for a total of $80 million, in funding for the Digital Classroom Initiative.
·         A $30.8 million increase, for a total of $3 billion, in funding for Class Size to account for enrollment growth.
·         A $6.9 million increase, for a total of $55.2 million, in funding for the Sparsity Supplement which provides funding to assist rural districts with sparse student populations (24,000 or fewer FTE students). 
·         A $14.3 million increase, for a total of $78.7 million, in funding for school safety initiatives.
·         A $123.4 million increase to fully fund new student growth of 17,846.
·         A $175.3 million increase in funding for other education initiatives such as transportation and instructional materials.
 
Principal Training Support and STEM Business Residency Program - Governor Scott believes supporting principals and teachers is essential to helping students realize better educational outcomes.  Governor Scott proposes $8.4 million in funding to support principal training and $1 million to establish the STEM Business Partnership Summer Residency Program for teachers.
 
Teacher of the Year Program - The “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget recommends increasing the financial awards our highest performing teachers receive through the Teacher of the Year Program. The award amounts will increase to $10,000 for district participants, $15,000 for the finalists and $20,000 for the Teacher of the Year. Current year award amounts are estimated to increase by $9,500 for district participants, more than $9,000 for finalists and more than $8,600 for the Teacher of the Year.
 
Enhanced School Choice Options for Students with Disabilities - The “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget continues the expansion of school choice programs by providing an increase of $5 million in funding for a total of $23.4 million for the Personal Learning Scholarship Account (PLSA) Program. The program provides eligible K-12 students with a scholarship that can be used for approved services or products, such as tuition and fees for enrollment in a private school that is eligible to participate in the McKay Scholarship Program, private tutoring, curriculum, behavioral analysis services, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
 
Increased Early Learning Funding - The “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget provides a $33.5 million increase in early learning funding. The total early learning budget is $1.1 billion for Fiscal Year 2015-2016. The budget highlights include:
 
o   A one-time $30 million appropriation to serve additional children in Florida’s school readiness program.
o   Restoration of $11.5 million for School Readiness Development Programs including a pre and post assessment to improve instructor quality.
o   $1.5 million for early childhood teacher scholarships through T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps).
o   $500,000 for the CLASS Video Library, an observation-based program assessment instrument that measures teacher-child interactions in three broad domains: emotional support, classroom organization and instructional support.
 
Higher Education Investment - After high school and before going on to receive his law degree, Governor Scott attended junior college where he continued his education and pursued his dreams. The “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget includes historic total and state operating funding for the State College System:
 
o   $2 billion in total funding
o   $1.17 billion in state operating funding, which is an increase of $30.2 million over Fiscal Year 2014-2015
 
Governor Scott’s “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget includes historic total and state operating funding for the State University System:
 
o   $4.5 billion in total funding
o   $2.1 billion in state operating funding, which is an increase of $97.2 million over Fiscal Year 2014-2015
 
Expand Bright Futures - The “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget recommends $23.5 million to expand Bright Futures Scholarships to cover credit hours taken during the summer term. This funding will allow students to graduate faster with less student debt.
 
$10,000 Degrees – The “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget includes $5 million for state colleges to develop or expand STEM bachelor’s degrees that cost students $10,000 or less in tuition and fees.
 
Holding the Line On Tuition - The average annual tuition and fees in the State University System has risen 93 percent over the past ten years, increasing from $3,074 in Fiscal Year 2004-2005 to $5,934 in Fiscal Year 2014-2015. At this rate, it is almost impossible for a family to save and plan for college. These increased tuition costs place a heavy burden on Florida’s families.
 
The Governor is committed to keeping higher education affordable and accessible to Florida’s students and therefore proposes no tuition increases in the “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget. There were no increases in the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 budget.
 
Performance Funding - Governor Scott is committed to rewarding Florida’s educational institutions that demonstrate excellence or improvement in student success:
o   Workforce – Maintains $4.98 million for performance funding, based on students earning industry certifications in high-demand occupational areas.
o   State Colleges - $60millionforperformance funding ($30 million new and $30 million from the state college’s recurring budget), based on a performance funding methodology approved by the State Board of Education that will include, but not be limited to the following metrics: job placement rates, cost per degree, graduation rates, and retention rates.
o   State Universities - $400 millionforperformance funding ($100 million of which is new money, $100 million in recurring funds and $200 million in redirected funds from the university’s recurring budget), based on 10 metrics including: average cost per graduate, percent of graduates employed or continuing education, average wages of employed graduates and graduation rates.
 
As a result of the $200 million Florida invested in performance funding in Fiscal Year 2014-2015, universities have hired more than 150 new faculty members, particularly in STEM and other high-demand workforce areas. In addition, universities have hired at least 50 new academic advisors, counselors, and internship coordinators, all working to form connections with the state workforce and help students get jobs. At least six universities have purchased new software programs to help with course scheduling and to identify students who are struggling so counselors and professors can reach out to them. At least five universities have revamped their career resource centers and placed a renewed emphasis on building learning opportunities for students through internships and mentorships.
 
Technical Center Rapid Response Grant – Governor Scott’s “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget recommendsTechnical Centers $20 million in new funding to assist Florida’s technical centers with providing programs in areas that are directly linked to workforce demands.  The funds will be used to develop or enhance programs that are critical to Florida’s economy.
 
Education Infrastructure - In order to maintain and ensure our educational facilities are up-to-date with the technology required to guarantee our students’ competitiveness and success, the Governor’s “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget includes $264.6 million of new funding for fixed capital outlay in the K-12 public schools – $60 million for K-12 public school maintenance, $100 million for the fixed capital outlay needs of charter schools, $96.9 million for critical infrastructure needs in Dixie, Washington, Madison, Levy, Calhoun, Holmes, Glades, Hamilton, Jefferson and Taylor counties, $5.1 million for lab schools, and $2.6 million for the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Charter schools and lab schools do not have the access to discretionary local millage and are reliant on state funds to meet capital needs.
 
The “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget also includes $212.1 million in fixed capital outlay funding for state universities and colleges, including $50 million in new funding for Florida universities and $40 million for Florida colleges to expand STEM education through necessary facility construction and renovation, with a required dollar for dollar match.
 
The Governor recommends $50 million to be used for prioritized maintenance projects at state-owned facilities in the State University System. This is an increase of $12.4 million over the current year. Additionally,in order for universities to complete student-approved projects, $32.1 million in budget authority is provided to spend student fees that have been collected for facility projects.
 
The “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget also recommends $40 million to be used for prioritized maintenance projects at state-owned facilities in the Florida College System. This is an increase of $35 million over the current year.
 
Education Fixed Capital Outlay
K-12 Public Schools
$60 million
Maintenance/Repair/Renovation/Remodel
Charter Schools
$100 million
Maintenance/Repair/Renovation/Remodel
Special Facilities Construction
$96.9 million
Special Facility Construction Projects in 10 small school districts
Florida Colleges
$40 million
Capital Projects
Florida Colleges
$40 million
Maintenance/Repair/Renovation/Remodel
State Universities
$50 million
Capital Projects
State Universities
$50 million
Maintenance/Repair/Renovation/Remodel
Florida School for the Deaf and Blind
$2.6 million
Preventative maintenance projects
Division of Blind Services
$400,000
Maintenance/Repair/Renovation/Remodel


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