House eyeing school cuts less than Scott’sby John Kennedy | March 15th, 2011
The state House weighed in with its first look at public school spending Monday — outlining plans for a 7.7 percent reduction in the state’s current $6,899-per student spending.
That may sound rough — until you consider Republican Gov. Rick Scott proposed a 10 percent per-student cut in his budget proposal last month.
“It’s going to be rough,” said Vern Pickup-Crawford, lobbyist for the Palm Beach County School Board.
But it’s also early. Lawmakers and lobbyists are holding back on the scenary chewing that usually accompanies proposed school cuts — at least until Friday, when economists are expected to update a revenue forecast which already is leaving Florida in at least a $3.6 billion budget hole.
There are few indications that the forecast will improve much. But most close to the budget-writing also say the outlook is not likely to worsen — unless rising fuel costs add a new budgetary caution.
“And you’ve got to remember, transportation costs are a big part of district spending,” Pickup-Crawford added.