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FEA's Fedrick Ingram Talks House's Proposed Education Budget, 'Schools Of Hope' Expansion Bill

Ryan Dailey

The Florida House of Representatives has rolled out its proposed K-12 education budget for the coming fiscal year. Ryan Dailey spoke with Florida Education Association president Fedrick Ingram, who says the House should follow the Senate’s lead with respect to a funding proposal.

On Tuesday, the Florida Senate proposed a $1.1 billion increase to the main funding mechanism for public schools. That would allow for a $350, or five percent increase in per-student spending over the current year.

The House, however, appears to be taking a more frugal stance with its proposed education budget. House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Chris Latvala highlighted some numbers from his chamber’s proposed budget Wednesday. It would fund the Florida Education Finance Program at $21.6 billion, a total increase $579.3 million over the current year.

“The FEFP increases total funds per-student by $167.79, for a total funds per-student of $7,596.58, which is a 2.26 percent increase over the current year,” Latvala said.

Fedrick Ingram, president of statewide teachers’ union The Florida Education Association, says the budget proposal doesn’t go far enough.

  • What do you think about the budget the House is proposing, and what it could do for Florida’s public schools?
  • Talk about the importance of per-student spending, and why public education advocates key in on that figure in the budget each year?
  • The Senate’s proposed budget includes $600 million in flexible funding they say can be used for teacher pay increases. Is that a move in the right direction?
  • The House is trying to expand the Schools of Hope program with a committee bill that passed its first stop this week. What are your thoughts on that?

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.