In response to the requests and advocacy of school board members, superintendents, district staff, parents, and students, Governor Scott has announced that he intends to veto the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) portion of the state budget because he finds it to be inadequate to meet the needs of students and their families. A Special Session of the Legislature has been scheduled for next week, June 7-9, 2017, when, among other issues, legislators will consider funding for K-12 education. You may read the governor’s complete Proclamation HERE. Please be sure to call (850-488-7146) or email Governor Scott to thank him for heeding the funding concerns expressed by educators and for his leadership in calling for a Special Session to address these concerns.
In today’s press conference, Governor Scott recommended that legislators increase FEFP funding by $100 per student. While this would be an improvement over the $24.49 increase in funding per student provided in the existing 2017-2018 budget, it’s important to note that it is also significantly less than the increase in per student funding contained in the Governor’s original budget recommendation and in the Senate’s original budget proposal. Further, the budgets proposed by both the Governor and the Senate held the Required Local Effort (RLE) millage rate at the same level as the prior year, thus making more than $500 million in local funds available due to increased property values. However, the final 2017-2018 rolled back the RLE millage rate which removed these funds — an unnecessary step that resulted in inadequate total funding in the FEFP. With this in mind, during the coming days, please be sure to work with your Superintendent and staff to ensure that your district’s legislative delegation is aware of your district’s budgetary needs for 2017-2018. To assist you, please see the FSBA 2017 Legislative Session page for more information, including FSBA’s letter to Governor Scott requesting a veto of the FEFP, FSBA’s 2017 Legislative Session Summary, and/or FSBA’s Education Appropriations Webinar.
On a related note, Governor Scott indicated today that he was still reviewing HB 7069 and has not reached a decision regarding his approval or veto of this legislation. Please continue to call (850-488-7146) and/or email Governor Scott to express your concerns about this legislation. For more information, please see FSBA’s letter requesting a veto of HB 7069 and/or our detailed summary of the bill in the FSBA 2017 Legislative Session Summary (beginning on page 62).
We will keep you posted on any new developments with regard to the Special Session and the fate of HB 7069.