Scott touts — and hypes — school spending before budget signingby John Kennedy | April 17th, 2012
Gov. Rick Scott began touting the state budget’s $1 billion boost for Florida classrooms early Tuesday — as he made his way toward his scheduled noon budget-signing at a St. Johns County elementary school.
“I don’t know of another state that’s ever increased K-12 funding that much in the history of this country,” Scott said during a drive-time interview with WOKV-Radio in Jacksonville, a Palm Beach Post news partner.
Scott may need a history lesson, though, when he arrives at Cunningham Creek Elementary School. Florida’s own K-12 budget was boosted $1.2 billion as recently as 2007-08, and billion-dollar bumps were relatively common in the state as per-pupil funding climbed to a $7,143 record high in 2008, before the recession tightened.
The $6,375 average, per-pupil spending in the 2012-13 budget before Scott represents the state’s second lowest level since 2005-06.
Scott blamed a decline in federal stimulus money for leading to the $1.3 billion cut last year — which the latest boost fails to cover completely.
Still, Scott said touring schools is “one of the nice things about this job.”
“These kids are excited,” said Scott, who visited three schools last week with a similar $1 billion message.