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PRESS RELEASE

January 18, 2005

MacKay Jimeson
(850) 245-0413

Governor Bush and Lt. Governor Jennings Unveil 2005-06 Education Budget
Governor continues making education a top priority by funding at record levels

TALLAHASSEE — Education Commissioner John Winn applauded Governor Jeb Bush's commitment to education, recommending more than $28.1 billion in funding for Florida's public education system. The funding boost to education was part of Governor Bush and Lt. Governor Toni Jennings' priority-driven 2005-06 Executive Budget recommendations announced earlier today.

"I applaud Governor Bush and Lt. Governor Jennings for continuing to make education Florida's number one priority," Education Commissioner Winn remarked. "Under Governor Bush's A+ Plan, we have witnessed record setting gains in student achievement. While they have again built a strong budget focused on education, serious threats loom in our fiscal future. The class size mandate will force dollars away from valuable teacher bonuses and pay raises, as well as the proven methods that have brought Florida impressive student progress."

The Bush/Jennings budget recommendations include:

  • Voluntary Prekindergarten Program: To implement a high quality voluntary prekindergarten program, Governor Bush and Lt. Governor Jennings propose $400.5 million during Fiscal Year 2005-06. This includes $2,500 in per student funding.
  • K-12 Public School Funding: Florida's K-12 schools would see a $1.1 billion increase (7.5 percent) under the Governor's proposal, totaling $17.0 billion for Fiscal Year 2005-06. Since 1998-99, public school funding has increased by more than 52 percent ($5.9 billion) and per student spending has increased by more than 30 percent ($1,495.41 per student).
  • Reading: Governor Bush has made reading a top priority in Florida and proposes increasing reading funding by $43.3 million, totaling $186.4 million in state and federal funds for Fiscal Year 2005-06. Additionally, Governor Bush recommends making reading funding a permanent part of the public school funding formula, ensuring it will be a long term priority in Florida's public schools.
  • Bearing the Class Size Burden: To further implement Florida's class size mandate, Governor Bush proposes $1.5 billion in operating funds, a $551 million increase.
  • Workforce Development Education: Governor Bush and Lt. Governor Jennings propose $1.2 billion for workforce programs at school district technical centers and community colleges, a 9.4 percent or $102.8 million increase over current year. This includes $24.7 million to create or expand programs that meet the needs of business and industry, are on the Targeted Occupations List, and train individuals for high skill/high wage occupations.
  • Community College Funding: The Governor recommends $1.5 billion in direct aid to the community college system, an $82.8 million or 5.6 percent increase over current year funding and a 50 percent increase since 1998-99.
  • State University Funding: Under Governor Bush's proposed 2005-06 budget, state universities would receive $2.9 billion, including a $119.1 million (4.3 percent) increase over their current year annual operating budget and a 40.4 percent increase since 1998-99.

For more information on the Governor's budget recommendations, visit www.myflorida.com or DOE's website at www.fldoe.org.