Despite facing unique challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Ron DeSantis’ commitment to education has not wavered. The Florida Leads Budget continues this commitment to a high-quality education for every student by prioritizing essential programs and services for Florida’s students and families. Thanks to the strategic policies of Governor DeSantis, Florida’s recovery from the pandemic is strong and has outperformed expectations, allowing the 2021-2022 budget proposal to continue meeting the needs of Floridians.
“As the 2021 Legislative Session begins, my priority remains to ensure Florida continues to provide the most robust and highest quality education system in the country. Every student regardless of zip code or family circumstances should be afforded the same opportunities to succeed in the classroom and throughout life,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I am looking forward to working with our state’s legislative leaders to build on our progress and the positive momentum we are seeing from Florida’s solid recovery.”
“I am tremendously grateful for Governor DeSantis’ leadership and deeply appreciate his focus on the educational needs of Florida’s students, parents, teachers and school districts,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “As Florida recovers, the Governor’s proposed budget emphasizes maintaining funding for the services and programs that all Floridians need to prosper. The investments in the Florida Leads Budget lift up our struggling schools and most vulnerable students, and provide access to higher quality acceleration and career pathways courses. We must continue to close all manner of achievement gaps, so that Florida’s students become great citizens and our education system is #1 in the nation.”
The Governor’s proposed FY 2021-2022 $22 billion in state funding for the education budget includes the following:
- Maintains the momentum for education funding by providing a historic $22.8 billion for the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP). This includes:
- $132 increase in the Base Student Allocation (BSA);
- $10 million increase, for a total of $110 million, for mental health initiatives;
- $50 million increase, for a total of $550 million, to continue the salary increase initiatives from the Fiscal year 2020-21 budget;
- $43.5 million to establish the Title I School Recognition Program to provide financial awards to Title I schools based on their student performance.
- $1.5 million to continue supporting the implementation of the new B.E.S.T standards to make Florida #1 in the nation.
- Maintains $10 million for Computer Science Certification (bonuses and teacher professional development).
- Invests $1 million for the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program to ensure students can learn and teachers can teach in safe environments, an increase of $500,000 over the current year.
- Maintains essential funding for mental health with $5.5 million to continue the Youth Mental Health Awareness and Assistance Training for school personnel.
- Provides $750,000 for the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative in recurring funding to support growing access for middle and high school speech and debate programs.
- Maintains $10 million for Pathways to Career Opportunities (apprenticeship grants) to ensure Florida’s colleges and technical centers become more nimble and responsive to the demands of Florida’s economic recovery.
- Provides $9 million to the Florida College System for the Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network. In addition, the State University System is provided $11.8 million for this initiative.
For more information about Governor DeSantis’ proposed 2021-2022 Florida Leads Budget, visit www.FloridaLeadsBudget.com.
For more information about the Florida Department of Education, visit www.fldoe.org.