School District Officials Are Hopeful About New Budget Proposal

By: Sandra Osborne Email
By: Sandra Osborne Email

If it passes, the state budget Governor Rick Scott proposed Thursday would be the largest in Florida's history.
It includes an additional 1.2 billion dollars for education.

Bay District School say this could be a relief after struggling for the last few years.

"We spend so much of our time figuring how we're going to do more with less," said Hiland Park Elementary Principal Patti Fowler.

Officials say Gov. Scott's new proposed budget is giving them a glimmer of hope.

"This is a chance where things can start to be fixed a little bit and we're looking forward to seeing if it really happens," said the Superintendent Bill Husfelt.

Scott's proposal includes $2,500 dollar pay raises for full-time public school teachers, $100 million for technology improvements, money for classroom supplies, and an increase in the amount of money the state pays the county for each student.

The Governor has also earmarked 10.5 million dollars state-wide for school safety improvements. Many have criticized the amount saying it's just a drop in the bucket, but Husfelt says anything it better than nothing.

"It's just refreshing that we're not talking about budget cuts. The last five years have been very tough. We've been just trying to survive."

Principal Fowler says she'd like to see some of the money used to provide extra staff.

"Extra pairs of hands for those children who are struggling in reading that need smaller intense remediation."

"Is it going to solve everything? No, but it is a big step forwards and we're very appreciative of the Governor's efforts,” said Husfelt.

It will be up to the legislature to pass a budget, then send it to the Governor for his approval.


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