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PRESS RELEASE

May 26, 2005

Melanie Mowry Etters
(850) 245-0413

Education Budget Sets Record Levels
Increase of almost 8 percent one of the largest in history

TALLAHASSEE — Education Commissioner John L. Winn today announced that Florida's education budget has reached record levels. The total education budget for FY 2005-06 is $27.6 billion, a 7.7 percent increase over the current year.

"I am pleased Governor Bush and the Legislature continued their commitment to education in Florida by championing record funding levels," said Winn. "These increases will sustain Florida's efforts toward education reform and rising student achievement."

Highlights of the 2005-06 Education Budget are:

Total Education Funding — $17.8 billion was appropriated from all state funds for educational operating budgets. This includes $13.3 billion from General Revenue, almost $1 billion from Lottery, and $3.6 billion from other trust funds. Lottery funds provide educational enhancement dollars for the School Recognition Program, Bright Futures Scholarship Program, District Discretionary Funds, and other programs as determined by the Legislature.

FEFP Funding — Funding in the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) increased by 8.85 percent to $1.33 billion in total potential funds, one of the largest increases in K-12 funding history, for a total of $16.4 billion. Funding per student is $6,133.97, an increase of $355 or 6.15 percent over the current year, which will serve almost 2.7 million students, including 66,275 new students.

Class Size — Funding to address the mandates of the class size amendment increased by $556 million for a total of $1.5 billion in operating funds. Implementing class size continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing Florida. The Department will continue searching for ways to assist districts with this effort.

Reading Initiatives — $89 million for a K-12 comprehensive, district-wide system of research-based reading instruction with $50,000 minimum for each school district. Additionally, $10 million is provided to the Just Read, Florida! Office to sponsor professional development courses and to provide schools with diagnostic testing tools in order to determine reading instruction needs.

Voluntary Pre-kindergarten — $387.1 million was appropriated to implement the Voluntary Pre-kindergarten Program. This represents $2,500 per child to provide a quality educational foundation for all of Florida's four-year-olds.

Workforce Programs — $31 million for Succeed, Florida and Jobs for Florida's Future to help fill workforce needs in critical areas such as nursing and teaching.

For more information on Florida's education budget, visit www.myflorida.com or www.fldoe.org.