Funding for students in Florida would reach a historic high under a budget plan unveiled on Nov. 10 by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The plan would also boost civics education by expanding and providing recurring funding to eliminate the current Florida Standards Assessment system in favor of establishing one that monitors student progress throughout the academic year.
The increases are intended to further sharpen Florida’s commitment to education, DeSantis said.
“Florida ranks as number 3 in the latest quality counts rating for K-12 by Education Week magazine and we’re ahead of the national average in almost all of the individual categories,” he said during a Nov. 10 press conference in Jacksonville. “That does not happen by accident – it’s because there has been a lot of emphasis on this – we place emphasis where we think that it really matters like early learning, early literacy.”
Specifically, the budget plan provides for $8,000 in per-student funding, $600 million to raise first-year teacher salaries from $40,000 to $47,000, and $15.5 million to completely eliminate the Florida Standards Assessment and replace it with a system that provides schools with tools to monitor student progress throughout the academic year.
The plan would also provide $65 million to give bonuses to teachers who earn a Florida Civics Seal of Excellence, $500,000 to expand the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative to all school districts, and fund $1,000 bonuses for nearly 177,000 teachers and principals.
It also sets aside $534 million to support workforce education programs to boost workforce development.
“We want to make Florida the best state in the nation for workforce development by 2021,” DeSantis said. “We want to make sure that people have the tools that they need to succeed.”
Florida’s next regular legislative session begins on Jan. 11, 2022.