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Scott signs off on $70 billion budget; more money for education

Governor Rick Scott has signed a budget that steers a billion more dollars into the state’s education system. Lynn Hatter reports the extra money for public schools marks a shift in policy for the governor after last year’s deep education spending cuts.  

State lawmakers steered an extra billion dollars to education this year, with money going to specific areas like merit pay for teachers and reading programs for low-performing students. Jaryn Emhof is the spokeswoman for the education reform group, the Foundation for Florida’s future.

 “I think what the Foundation is most excited about is where those dollars are going. We believe that how you spend the money is just as, if not more important as how much money you spend.”

Public school supporters say the extra money is a step in the right direction, but isn’t enough to make up the $1.35 billion cut from education last year.  Even with this year’s increase, per-student spending is still down about $800 dollars from 2008, which was the peak funding year for education in Florida.


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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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