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Governor Ron DeSantis released his budget proposal for FY 2020-2021, known as a “Bolder, Brighter, Better Future.”

There is more money in the budget for education.

“My budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 builds on our successes of the past year, placing emphasis where it is needed while remaining fiscally responsible to Florida taxpayers,” said DeSantis. “The budget includes key investments in our K-12 education system, our environment and the well-being of our residents, while recommending over $480 million in savings and over $300 million in tax relief. Although there is still more we can do to improve our state, which we hope to accomplish through this budget, Florida’s future has never been bolder, brighter or better than it is today.”

The total recommendation for the FY 2020-2021 budget is $91.4 billion. The budget recommends $480.5 million in savings – such as administrative efficiencies and elimination of earmarks.

The budget places $5.6 billion in total reserves, including $1.4 billion of General Revenue, which is more than 6 percent of the total budget and $200 million more than the current year budget.

The budget also includes more than $300 million in tax relief, including a $56 million 8-day Back to School Sales Tax Holiday, a 10-day Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday and property tax relief of over $247 million.

This budget makes substantial investments in the state’s education system, including $22.9 billion for the Florida Education Finance Program (FEDP), an increase of over $1 billion.

This includes over $900 million to recruit and retain the best classroom teachers and principals in Florida. Over $600 million is included to raise the minimum salary for full-time classroom teachers to $47,500, which would provide more than 101,000 teachers with a pay raise.

Additionally, $300 million is recommended for the Florida Classroom Teacher and Principal Bonus programs.

The budget invests $25 million in key workforce development initiatives: $10 million for the Pathways to Careers Opportunities Grant Program, $10 million for the Work Florida Student Success Incentive Fund at State Colleges and $5 million for the Work Florida Student Success Incentive Fund at District Postsecondary Programs.

The budget recommends an increase of funding of more than $22 million for Florida colleges, and nearly $24 million for Florida universities, all while maintaining no increases in tuition.

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David Volz
David Volz has been a reporter for Hollywood Gazette since 2011 and has worked for numerous community news publications throughout South Florida over the past two decades including the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal. He is a Professor in the Business department at Broward College and the editor of the Coral Springs Connection, an online community news website. He covers city government, schools, sports events, cultural activities, faith groups and workplaces.

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