Florida Had Second-Largest 2013 Education Funding Increase, Study Says
Florida had the second-largest per pupil increase in education spending for the 2013-2014 budget year, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
But Florida still spends 3.9 percent less — $157 per student — on education now than it did in 2008 prior to the Great Recession. At least 34 states still spend less on education now than in 2008, with 13 states cutting spending by 10 percent or more over the period.
Those figures are all adjusted for inflation.
Gov. Rick Scott and lawmakers have pushed for more money for education the past two years following a $1.3 billion budget cut in 2011. This year $480 million of the roughly $1 billion increase was earmarked for teacher raises. Last year lawmakers added $1 billion for K-12, though much of it just covered increasing costs and enrollment.
Lawmakers say school technology will be a top education priority when they begin work on the 2014-2015 budget. Florida is switching to new education standards, known as Common Core. Those standards will come with new, online tests which will require schools to upgrade Internet networks and add computers.
In addition, lawmakers have required that half of classroom instruction is delivered digitally when classes begin in 2015.