TALLAHASSEE — Today the Florida Senate proposed increasing K-12 education funding by more than $1 billion, with a nearly $600 million increase in discretionary funds that could be used to increase teacher and support staff salaries.
“We are encouraged that Senate President Galvano has listened to Florida’s educators and families,” said Florida Education Association President Fedrick Ingram. “This proposal indicates his intent to prioritize the students who attend our neighborhood public schools. It is certainly a step in the right direction and recognizes the needs of our students.”
The FEA had hoped that the House would follow the Senate’s lead, but public statements by Florida House members are less encouraging, as they proclaim that their budget proposal will be the leanest in years. This approach to funding our state’s needs will continue to damage our ability to attract and retain teachers and shortchanges our students.
“Educators and parents have seen the results of a decade of neglect for Florida’s neighborhood public schools. They see firsthand how severely our schools are underfunded,” Ingram said. “One thing we know for sure is that this issue will not be made better overnight. Today Senate leadership took a positive step toward ensuring our students receive the high quality public education they deserve.”
The Senate education budget proposal includes:
- $1.1 billion increase over current year, the highest since the 2006-2007 budget year
- $350 increase in per-student funding
- $149.40 increase in Base Student Allocation
- $233.9 million in funding for the teacher and principal bonus program
- $68 million increase in Safe Schools Allocation
- $46 million increase in turnaround funds
CONTACT: Joni Branch, (850) 201-3223 or (850) 544-7055
The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with more than 140,000 members. FEA represents pre K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational staff professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees.