Education Budget Highlights
|| in $ billion
| Dollar figures above rounded to nearest million. Percentages reflect non-rounded figures.
The Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) will provide $24.294 billion to school districts, an increase of $1.695 billion (7.5 percent). This includes $10.740 billion in local funding which is not included in budget totals. The overall 6.0 percent decrease in total public school funding is largely due to last year’s inclusion of $2.2 billion in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds for costs related to the pandemic and for reopening schools, remediating learning loss, purchasing technology, and locating unaccounted for students.
Per-Student FEFP Funding of $8,142 is an increase of $385 per student (5.0 percent). There are 70,577 more students expected in public schools. The base student allocation (flexible funding) will increase by $214 per student (4.9 percent).
Teacher Compensation – The Teacher Salary Increase Allocation created last year was increased from $550 million to $800 million to continue to raise the minimum K-12 teacher salary to $47,500 (top 5 nationwide).
Other FEFP Increases – The Legislature also provided increases in the Safe Schools ($30 million), Mental Health ($20 million), and Reading Instruction ($40 million) allocations.
Federal Funds – Much of the ESSER funds mentioned above have yet to be spent. The new budget provides that the unexpended balance of $674.0 million appropriated last year, plus $201.6 million in American Rescue Plan Funds, will be distributed to all school districts to implement summer enrichment camps that target students’ academic and extracurricular needs, after school programs, and individualized tutoring services that address public school students’ academic, social, and emotional needs. This money is technically appropriated for FY2021-22 (even though it will be spent in FY2022-23) so it is not counted in the new budget totals.
Workforce Education – Public school workforce education programs received a $56.1 million (10.7 percent) increase over last year’s funding level.
Early Learning – A good year for early learning, as the Voluntary Pre-K program received an additional $44.8 million to boost per-student spending by $317 (12.8 percent), the highest base level funding ever.
State Colleges will enjoy a significant increase in total state funding of $166 million (12.2 percent), including $55.0 million in increased operational support. Recurring funding of $35.0 million goes to the Open Door Grant Program to create a demand-driven supply of credentialed workers for high-demand occupations and expand the affordability of workforce training and credentialing.
State Universities received a $278 million (5.2 percent) increase in total funding, which includes $560 million in performance funding, $295 million of which comes from universities’ base funding. Increased funding is also provided for cybersecurity resiliency ($20.5 million) and the Moffit Cancer Center workload increase ($10.0 million).
Nursing Education – $125 million is provided to create two new nursing education programs to assist with the nursing shortage. These will reward performance and excellence of programs at Florida’s career centers, state colleges, and universities and incentivize collaboration between nursing education programs and healthcare partners.
Public Education Capital Outlay – It was a very good year for educational facility funding. In addition to $470.8 million in state funds, the Legislature appropriated $1.466 billion in federal fiscal recovery funds for construction and maintenance.
Maintenance – Neglected for several years (except for charter schools), $843.7 million in federal funds were provided for university and college maintenance and repair projects. State funds went to charter schools ($195.8 million) and public schools ($11.4 million).
Construction Projects – Funds were provided for colleges ($179.2 million), universities ($457.0 million), public schools ($78.3 million), and developmental research (Lab) schools ($8.1 million).