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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida PTA praises Gov. Rick Scott's education budget

Times file photo



Remember back in 2011, when a brand new Gov. Rick Scott proposed cutting billions of dollars from Florida's education budget? Education advocacy groups roundly blasted the eventual cuts of about $1 billion, and held the reduction over his head with every budget he brought forth afterward calling for new levels of education funding.

One of his methods for increasing the bottom line has been to let local property taxes cover the amount as values rise. This year, the Senate has shown a willingness to go along, but the House has not.

The Florida PTA stepped into the debate Monday on Scott's side.

The group released a statement applauding the governor's efforts to put more money into schools, and urged lawmakers to join him:

"Florida PTA would like to commend Governor Rick Scott for his foresight in requesting significant increases to education funding for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Governor Scott recognizes that corporate leaders and entrepreneurs weigh heavily a state's commitment to educational quality when considering where to locate new businesses. Wise and targeted investments in the education of a state's future workforce boost its ability to attract new jobs.

"Florida PTA applauds the Governor's request to increase total funding for K-12 education to $20.99 million, and state funding to $11.55 million, both historic highs. We likewise consider his proposed record $7420.99 in per-pupil funding a good first step toward bringing Florida closer to the national average. Equally welcome is the Governor's commitment to increasing the budgets for Early Learning, Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten, and School Readiness. Such investments enhance the opportunities of all students to succeed and prosper.

"As Speaker Corcoran and President Negron prepare to formulate their own respective budget proposals in the coming days, we hope that they, too, choose to increase their allocations for the education of Florida's children. The return on such investments will manifest themselves not only in brighter futures for our students, but also the sustained growth of our Sunshine economy."

The two chambers are holding several appropriations committee meetings this week. 

[Last modified: Monday, March 20, 2017 10:47am]


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