Total vs. per-pupil vs. inflation
The education budget has been a prickly issue for Scott since he recommended major cuts in his first year in office. State tax revenues have recovered with the end of the recession, and Scott has pushed to move the budget back up each year since, which has led to his current claim.
With Scott well into his second term, the same is still true today.
After winning re-election, Scott wanted to bump up spending in his January 2015 budget proposal, to $19.75 billion total and $7,176 per pupil. That would have been about $850,000 higher than the previous year’s budget, and $50 higher per student than the record of $7,126 under Crist.
But the Legislature has the final say, and faced a budget deadlock over several issues, including a debate about potentially expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. After a special session in the summer to hammer out a budget, the Legislature didn’t give Scott the amount he wanted.
We checked the latest calculations for the Florida Education Finance Program, a pot of state and local money for schools that is adjusted periodically throughout the year to factor in tax receipts and enrollment. We found that for the 2015-16 school year, the K-12 system is getting a total budget of about $19.7 billion, or about $7,105 per student .
Scott said, “We have the highest funding in (the) K-12 system in the history of the state.”
Education spending has essentially stood still over the last nine years. Scott’s claim obscures that.
The statement contains an element of truth, but ignores critical facts. We rate it Mostly False.
Read full article here.
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