The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Senate education budget proposal pumps new money into performance funding

19

March

Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Bill Galvano unveiled his plan for funding education Tuesday.

Galvano wants to spend about $6,955 per student, an increase of 2.58 percent over last year.

His proposed budget increases the spending on public schools by $651 million. It sets aside $40 million for digital learning initiative, equipment and training; and $30 million to encourage schools to develop industry certification programs.

The proposal also pumps $100 million in new funds into the State University System performance funding, and $15 million in new funds into performance funding for the college system. And it increases the funding for Bright Futures Scholarships by $25 million, or 9.4 percent over last year.

The education budgets being considered in the Senate and the House are similar, though the lower chamber's proposal adds about $60 million more into the K-12 budget. The Senate has more of a focus on capital spending, Galvano said.

Galvano's preliminary plan got some bi-partisan love Wednesday.

Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, called the pitch a "historic education budget."

"It reflects a growing understanding that education truly is our number one priority," he said.

Said Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach: "What a difference money makes."

Democrats also praised the proposal.

"It is nice to have money," Sen. Maria Lorts Sachs, D-Delray Beach, told Galvano. "You have allocated it in a very fair way."

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 3:13pm]

    

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