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Press Release

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

Governor Rick Scott's "It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget" Funds Education at Highest Total and State Funding Levels in Florida History for Florida's K-12 Public Schools and the Florida College System

Tallahassee, Fla., January 29, 2014 - Governor Rick Scott today announced details of his "It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget" which includes historic state and total funding levels for Florida's K-12 public schools and for the Florida College System. Included in the Governor's Recommended Budget is:
  • $18.8 billion for Florida's K-12 public schools, of which $10.6 billion is state funding;
  • $2 billion for the Florida College System, of which $1.15 billion is state funding; and
  • $291.4 million in new funding for fixed capital outlay needs in K-12 public schools, Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, University Developmental Research schools, charter schools and Florida colleges.

"Education is one of the primary economic engines in this state," said Governor Rick Scott. "Dramatic improvements by Florida's students and teachers have been noticed by businesses across the nation. Because of our friendly business climate, including a strengthening workforce and high-quality education system, Florida attracts businesses and residents every day who make our state better."

The "It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget" for Florida's K-12 public schools:
  • Maintains $480 million in raises for teachers and other educators pledged by Governor Scott in 2013;
  • Provides an additional $8.9 million to implement the Summer Algebra Initiative to provide algebra camps to rising ninth graders who have not enrolled in algebra or successfully completed algebra; and
  • Provides an additional $40 million for digital learning.

"By funding K-12 public education at the highest state and total funding level in history in the 'It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget,' Governor Scott understands the importance of education in Florida," said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. "The Governor supports critical programs from prekindergarten through postsecondary education, ensuring Florida's students have the tools and resources they need to succeed in college, career and life."

Additional funding and other highlights include:
  • $8.4 million for professional development for principals and assistant principals;
  • $5 million for teacher training and technical assistance related to the implementation of state standards;
  • $2 million increase to expand the state portion of the dollar-for-dollar match of private donations from public school district educational foundations;
  • $80 million for performance funding ($40 million new funds and $40 million existing funds redirected) to Florida colleges based on a model approved by the State Board of Education;
  • $10 million for performance funding ($5 million new funds) to Florida colleges based on an increase in students earning industry certifications in high-skill/high-wage Florida occupations as specified in the most recent Florida Statewide Targeted Occupations List;
  • $2.5 million in new funding for adult education programs based on students earning literacy completion points, high school equivalency diplomas and high school diplomas;
  • $272,400 to support a disability jobs portal, a centralized resource created to offer business counseling to help employers make informed hiring decisions and technical assistance in connecting employers and job-seekers with disabilities;
  • Tuition rates for Florida colleges remain steady; and
  • $291.4 million for Fixed Capital Outlay which includes:
  • $80 million for maintenance, repair and renovation at K-12 public schools;
  • $90.6 million for maintenance, repair and renovation at charter schools;
  • $22.8 million for maintenance, repair and renovation at Florida colleges;
  • $1.1 million for preventative maintenance at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind;
  • $4.8 million for University Developmental Research schools;
  • $72.1 million for special facility construction projects; and
  • $20 million for Florida College System projects.

"On behalf of Florida's students, I thank Governor Scott for his leadership and commitment to making Florida's education system stronger," said Gary Chartrand, Chairman, Florida State Board of Education. "Each dollar spent on a child's education is a sensible investment in the future of our state."

"Since taking office in 2011, Governor Scott has made creating a world-class education system in Florida one of his top priorities," said John Colon, Florida State Board of Education member. "His commitment to Florida students, families and educators helped propel our education system from 11th to 6th in the nation in 2013. With record levels of total and state funding for K-12 public education in the Governor's 2014 'It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget,' we will build on our success and ensure a bright future for all students."

"I am pleased to see Governor's Scott's commitment to education through historic levels of funding," said Dr. Ada Armas, Florida State Board of Education member. "The Governor has a deep appreciation for the value of a quality education and is committed to giving our schools, teachers and students the tools they need to be successful in a global 21st century."

"By committing more than $18 billion dollars to Florida students, Governor Scott is proving he understands the importance of helping our students excel in the classroom," said John Padget, Vice-Chair of the Florida State Board of Education. "This funding paired with Florida's more rigorous standards will inevitably help our students be more competitive nationally and internationally."

"I am thankful to see Governor Scott increasing our state's investment in education in such a significant way," said Rebecca Fishman Lipsey, member of the Florida State Board of Education. "The funds will impact students and educators meaningfully, and the future of our children is worth every penny."

"The Governor has once again demonstrated his commitment to providing Floridians with access to an affordable, high-quality education that leads to good jobs," said Florida College System Chancellor Randy Hanna. "Governor Scott's 'It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget' provides $40 million new money in performance funding for Florida College System institutions, with an additional $10 million for industry certification completions. This historic commitment to our colleges will promote student success while positioning our colleges to make significant contributions to Florida's workforce and economy."

"I am so pleased to see record funding for education in Florida, including maintaining the teacher pay raises Governor Scott fought for last year," said Dorina Sackman, 2014 Florida Teacher of the Year and finalist for National Teacher of the Year. "The Governor has placed a priority on our most precious resource...our children. This, in turn, will pay great dividends when our college- and career-ready students enter the workforce, fueled with the knowledge and skills gained in our Florida classrooms through superior teaching."

"A talented workforce is one of Florida's best economic development tools to help businesses grow and create more jobs," said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of commerce. "Governor Scott's investment in the future of our children will help ensure students are better prepared for successful careers, and employers across the nation will view Florida as a state with a strong, competitive talent pipeline."

"We applaud Governor Scott's ongoing commitment to accountability in Florida's education system and investment in professional development for administrators, "said Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida's Future. "Focusing on building and strengthening great leaders will improve the performance of Florida's teachers which will, in turn, drive excellent outcomes for Florida's students."

"Governor Scott's budget proposal will have a tremendous impact on the thousands of Floridians with disabilities looking for meaningful employment," said Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Director Aleisa McKinlay. "His support of Florida's disability jobs portal will ensure business owners and job seekers will benefit by having access to this vital resource."

"Governor Scott understands the key to attracting businesses that grow and diversify Florida's economy is investing in a world-class education system," said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch and Chairman of the Florida Education Foundation. "The 'It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget' includes a wise investment of Florida's nearly $2 billion education budget that emphasizes the elements most important to maintaining Florida's status as a leader in education."

"The Florida College System strives to be first in the nation in the areas of success and completion, preparation for careers, access and affordability, and accountability," said Council of Presidents Chair and North Florida Community College President John Grosskopf. "Governor Scott's 'It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget' provides financial incentives to spur excellent performance, including $10 million in performance bonus funding for colleges based on industry certification completions in high-skill, high-wage jobs."

"With his 'It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget,' Governor Scott shows that he understands an investment in education is an investment in Florida's future," said Speaker Tom Feeney, President and CEO, Associated Industries of Florida. "By preparing our students to meet the business needs of today and tomorrow, we will make our state the best place to do business."

Juhan Mixon, Executive Director of the Florida Association of School Administrators said, "I am very pleased to see that Governor Scott's 'It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget' provides funding to support professional development for school-based administrators. This will go a long way toward developing strong school leaders prepared to lead students to even higher levels of achievement."

Nikki Lowrey, State Director of StudentsFirst Florida said, "With this budget proposal, Governor Scott continues to demonstrate his commitment to education and to making our children a top priority. Funding education to historic levels, and providing money for the professional development of teachers and principals, truly puts students first and strengthens Florida's reputation as a national leader in improving education."

"Investing in Florida's students, teachers and schools is vital to maintaining our local community and developing a high-skills workforce statewide," said Taylor County Superintendent of Schools Paul Dyal. "The governor's bold proposal solidifies his commitment to ensuring each and every classroom is ready for success."

"Gov. Scott's budget proposal is a good start, reflecting an improving economy and clear priorities," said Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent MaryEllen Elia. "Investing in education is the best way to ensure a bright and prosperous future for our state."

"Governor Scott's 'It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget' demonstrates his recognition of Florida colleges as critical partners in preparing tomorrow's workforce today," said Workforce Florida Vice Chairman Jennifer Grove, who also serves on the Florida Education Foundation Board of Directors. "Strengthening and investing in the ability of Florida colleges to develop market-ready talent will pay off for Florida's businesses and workers."

"As a parent and grandparent, Governor Scott's investment in Florida's students today will lead to greater learning gains in the classroom and better success in college and their careers," said Eileen Segal, President of the Florida PTA. "It is our hope that Governor Scott continues to make education our state's top priority."

"We are excited about the possibility of school budgets beginning to be restored," said Bay County Superintendent Bill Husfelt. "Our students, teachers and community need renewed confidence that we will have continued support for our schools from the Governor and our state legislators. We know funding does not solve all problems; however, properly funding public education is key to thriving economic development."

"It is clear from today's announcement that Governor Scott values Florida educators as dedicated professionals and is willing to take bold action to make sure we have the funding, tools and professional development to lead our schools," said Alice Gault, Past President of the Florida Assistant Principals Association. "This substantial increase in funding will allow principals to better plan to meet the future needs of their students."

Dr. Wayne Blanton, Executive Director of the Florida School Boards Association said, "This money will not only ensure a better quality education for students, but will also lead to increased professional development opportunities for our teachers and administrators - something that is proven to take education to the next level. What a great investment in our state's future."

Bonnie Cangelosi, Past President of the Florida Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals said, "The Governor's 'It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget' makes the critical investments we need in professional development for our teachers, principals and assistant principals. Administrators and educators are the backbone of our education system and by providing them with the tools and resources they need, we help them prepare Florida's students for success in college and career."

"We believe every child deserves an exceptional education," said John Kirtley, Chairman of Step Up for Students. "The Governor's proposed K-12 funding will help all students, including economically disadvantaged students who will now have more options available to meet their individual needs."