Published Online: March 11, 2014
Published in Print: March 12, 2014, as Florida

State of the States

State of the States: Florida

Gov. Rick Scott is greeted by lawmakers in Tallahassee before his annual address to the legislature. The governor is proposing a $542 million funding increase for education.
—Phil Sears/AP

Gov. Rick Scott (R)
Date of Speech: March 4

Facing a tough re-election campaign, Gov. Scott told state lawmakers in his annual address that he plans to budget $18.8 billion for the state's public schools in fiscal year 2015. He also touted Florida students' performance on international assessments from 2012.

The budget increase he's proposed amounts to a $542 million jump from the fiscal year 2014 budget. It's also markedly different from 2011, the governor's first year in office, when the state's K-12 budget declined by roughly $1.3 billion.

"This record investment builds on our previous budgets, which invested an additional $1 billion in K-12 education for two years in a row," the governor said.

Gov. Scott also cited the state's decision to grant full-time teachers the chance to get pay raises, an investment he said is "sure to pay off." (The actual distribution of those pay raises in Florida's districts over the past several months, however, has been erratic, according to news reports.)

Gov. Scott also highlighted the fact that on the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, Florida's 4th grade students ranked second in the world behind only Hong Kong.

Vol. 33, Issue 24, Page 23

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