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PRESS RELEASE

January 6, 2005

Jacob DiPietre
(850) 488-5394

MacKay Jimeson
(850) 245-0413

Lt. Governor Jennings Announces $102 Million Recommended Increase for Workforce Education Funding
Workforce Education Funding Support's Florida's Economic Growth

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER — Lt. Governor Toni Jennings today announced a proposal to increase funding for workforce education programs by $102.8 million in the Bush/Jennings 2005-2006 budget. These workforce education programs, operated by Florida's school districts and community colleges, prepare students to enter high skill/high wage occupations supporting Florida's economic growth. The announcement was made while visiting Brevard Community College's Spaceport facility, which offers technical programs in aerospace technology.

"Our community colleges and public school workforce education programs help graduates find jobs and expand economic growth," Lt. Governor Jennings said. "As Florida's economy continues to diversify, new skills are necessary to take advantage of higher wage, high-tech jobs. These programs prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow, while meeting the state's current and future employment needs."

The Lt. Governor visited Brevard Community College's Center for Space Education to see the unique partnerships between community colleges, high schools, and local industries that give young Floridians a chance to explore future career options and high-tech job training. It is the only place in the world offering access to a national launch range for educational activities and provides students with a unique learning environment.

"Governor Bush is making a meaningful investment in Florida's future," said Education Commissioner John Winn. "This increase, the largest in eight years, will support adult general education and adult literacy instruction and provide students with greater opportunity through improved skills and increased job prospects."

Among the Governor's Fiscal Year 2005-2006 budget recommendations are the
following:

Workforce Development Education

  • $23 million increase for workforce development in public schools bringing total funding to $441 million (5.5% increase).
  • $20 million increase to enhance Florida's community colleges' workforce development programs totaling $600 million (3.5% increase).

Adult Basic Education

  • $18.1 million in new federal funds to improve and expand adult education, workforce literacy, and workforce readiness in Florida (77% increase).

Performance Based Incentives

  • An additional $7 million for public schools and $10 million for community colleges to reward districts and colleges for student completion and job placement success through Performance Based Incentives.

Jobs for Florida's Future

  • $24.7 million ($20 million for community colleges and $4.7 million for public schools) to create workforce development programs targeting high skill, high wage occupation, as well as enhancing already existing innovative programs.

The Department of Education has received some of the following program proposals:

School District Proposed Programs:

  • 13 - Nursing & Allied Health
  • 8 - Industrial
  • 6 - Technology
  • 2 - Adult Education
  • 4 - Other

Community College Proposed Programs:

  • 22 - Nursing & Allied Health
  • 9 - Technology
  • 3 - Biosciences & Biotechnology
  • 3 - Homeland Security
  • 11 - Other

Lt. Governor Jennings was joined by Community College and Workforce Education Chancellor David Armstrong, Dr. Thomas Gamble, president of Brevard Community College and Congressman Dave Weldon (R-FL). For more information visit www.myflorida.com or www.fldoe.org.