Today, Governor Scott unveiled his 2017 Recommended Budget. The Governor recommends a total budget of about $83.47 billion – an increase of about $1.3 billion over the current year budget. We have posted the full budget recommendation, the statewide and district-by-district FEFP summary, and the Governor’s press release (which includes links to other budget documents) on the FSBA website on our 2017 Legislative Session page for your review. We are preparing a more detailed analysis of the Governor’s funding and policy recommendations but, in the meantime, some of the major highlights are provided below.
For the FEFP, the Governor’s Recommended Budget:
- Projects an increase in unweighted FTE of 28,192.88 (1.01%) for a total of 2,828,202.04 unweighted FTE
- Provides an increase of $815,181,652 (4.04%) in total FEFP funding for a total of $20,988,063,560
- Provides an increase of $141.19 (3.39%) in the Base Student Allocation (BSA) for a total of $4,301.90
- Provides an increase of $216.41 (3%) in total funds per unweighted FTE for a total of $7,420.99 per FTE
- Maintains the current Required Local Effort (RLE) millage rate of 4.638 mills to produce an increase in RLE revenue of $474,485,778 (6.24%) for a total of $8,079,904,345 in RLE funding
- Provides an increase in of $257,251,799 (2.28%) in state funding for a total of $11,552,431,667 in state funding
- Provides significant increases in funding for several categoricals including, among others, a $10,000,000 increase for Safe Schools, a $4,550,000 increase in the Sparsity Supplement, a $28,893,902 increase for Supplemental Academic Instruction, and a $48,987,617 increase in the ESE Guaranteed Allocation
In addition to these FEFP funding highlights, the Governor’s Recommended Budget creates an intriguing new non-FEFP program to replace the Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program. The new program – the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Initiative (line item 107 in the full budget) – provides $43,000,000 for several new initiatives including programs to provide hiring bonuses, to increase diversity in teacher critical shortage areas, to provide scholarships for high school students to obtain certification and who agree to teach in a Florida public school, to allow regional consortia to establish teacher collegiate academies, to allow school districts to establish targeted recruitment and retention programs, and to reward high-impact teachers who remain in low performing schools.
With regard to fixed capital outlay, for Maintenance, Repair, Renovation and Remodeling, the Governor’s Recommended Budget provides $75,000,000 to public schools and $75,000,000 to charter schools (same level of funding at the current year) but the Governor adds proviso language on the eligibility for funding for charter schools authorized after July 1, 2017 to provide that, in addition to other statutory requirements, such charter schools must obtain a school grade, a surety bond, be accredited, and be established primarily to serve students in the attendance zone of a school identified in need of intervention and support services. For the Special Facility Construction Account, the Governor’s Recommended Budget provides funding for the Hamilton and Taylor school districts.
As mentioned above, this is just a quick look at some of the major highlights. We will provide a more detailed analysis as soon as possible.