Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has proposed in his first budget request to spend an additional $1.3 billion on K-12 education in fiscal 2008. That would boost per-pupil spending to $7,341, an increase of $500, and bring the state’s total education budget to $33.4 billion
The biggest chunk of additional spending would be devoted to reducing class sizes, which is required by a 2002 voter-approved amendment to the Florida Constitution. Gov. Crist’s budget calls for $3.8 billion to be spent on new classrooms and operating expenses.
The first-term Republican also wants to double funding for the state’s performance-pay plan for teachers and devote $295 million to salary bonuses of 10 percent to the top 25 percent of teachers.
His budget also calls for spending $26 million to add 400 reading coaches to an existing reading-coach program, and $10 million for “virtual tutors” to help parents and teachers track their children’s academic progress.
A version of this article appeared in the February 14, 2007 edition of Education Week