In a pre-legislative gathering of the media at the state Capitol, Gov. Rick Scott delivered an address on the state of Florida’s economy, cutting taxes and eliminating regulations on businesses, and one of his top priorities – funding for education.
Scott announced he will present his budget on Thursday, saying it will include an increase of $1.2 billion in funding for K-12 education and noting that an investment in education is an investment in Florida families.
The increase will bring the total funding for Florida schools to $10.7 billion, the highest level of in state history, the governor said. That amounts to about $6,800 per student, an increase of around 6.5 percent, or more than $400 per student.
The total education budget would include $480 million to fund a $2,500 pay raise for each teacher, which Scott announced earlier this month.
“We made the hard choices to recover and get back on track – now we must make the smart choices to invest in Florida’s future,” Scott said. “We are in a position to invest, and I can think of no better place to make such a major investment than in our Florida teachers and the future workforce they educate every day.”
Scott said he still supports accountability and rewarding high-performing teachers, noting that Florida ranks sixth in the country for educational quality.
“I have great partners in Speaker [Will] Weatherford and President [Don] Gaetz, who share the goal of moving our state forward and keeping our economy growing,” Scott said. “Together, I know we can put Florida families first and put our state on track to increased economic growth and job creation.”