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May 25, 2006
Governor Bush Signs 2006-2007 Budget
Florida's K-20 budget of $23 billion is largest in history
TALLAHASSEE Governor Jeb Bush today signed the FY 2006-2007 budget, allocating a record total of funding for Florida's education. The budget allocates $23 billion for K-20 education, an increase of more than 14 percent compared to the current fiscal year. This year's funding includes an operating budget of $19.1 billion, and a fixed capital outlay budget of $3.9 billion, which includes more than $1.1 billion for facilities to reduce class size.
"I commend Governor Jeb Bush for signing this budget today and committing this funding to education," said Commissioner John L. Winn. "We have an opportunity to wisely invest these resources and develop the strongest education system Florida has ever known."
Highlights of the 2006-07 budget are:
FEFP Funding Funding in the Florida Education Finance Program increased by 10.76 percent to provide a total of $18.8 billion. Funding per student is $7,004, an increase of $542 or nearly 9 percent during the current year.
Pay For Performance Plan The Special Teachers Are Rewarded Plan will recognize and reward outstanding teachers in Florida. Described in proviso language, $147.5 million is included for this program in the FEFP for school districts.
Reading Initiatives Reading instruction is a key component to make certain that students succeed in all subjects. Next fiscal year, more than $111.8 million, an increase of 26 percent, will be allocated for reading instruction from the FEFP.
Class Size Funding to address the mandates of the class size amendment increased by $644 million for a total of $2.2 billion in operating funds. This is a 43 percent increase over the current year.
Workforce Programs The Ready to Work Initiative Program, a new job skill assessment-based training and credentialing program for students, will receive more than $17.3 million. This new certificate will measure a student's readiness in certain job skills and allow the student to obtain an occupation-specific credential that will provide employers with a clear, consistent statewide standard of the job skills an individual possesses.
Student Financial Aid More students will now be able to make their dreams of attending college a reality with a 22 percent increase in need-based student financial aid over the current year.
Algebra Incentive School districts will now have an incentive to encourage middle school students to take a high school level algebra course. Additional funding (.088 of the full-time equivalent student membership) will be allocated to the district and then passed on to the school if the student scores a C or better in the class.
"None of this would have been possible without the support and leadership of all of our state legislators," said Commissioner Winn. "Special gratitude is due to Senator J.D. Alexander, Chair of the Senate Education Appropriations Committee, and Representative Joe Pickens, Chair of the House Educations Appropriations Committee who both committed themselves to ensure that education the most important investment we can make has the resources it needs for success."
Under the leadership of Governor Bush, funding for education has increased 69 percent or $7.7 billion, providing millions of Florida's students with a high-quality education. Governor Bush implemented higher standards and developed an accountably system that has made a positive impact on improving student learning.
For more information on Florida's education budget, visit www.myflorida.com.