ST. AUGUSTINE (CBSMiami) – With stroke of a pen, Gov. Rick Scott signed the state’s 2012-2013 budget into law at a St. Johns County elementary school.
In keeping his pledge to add $1 billion to the K-12 education budget, Scott signed the budget while visiting Cunningham Creek Elementary School in St. Johns County. Governor Scott made $1 billion in additional education funding the centerpiece of his legislative agenda this year.
“Over the last year I have traveled the state to hear from Floridians what issues they care about most. That’s why this budget should be known as an education budget,” Scott said. “The two issues that Floridians care most about are jobs and education, and the two go hand-in-hand since a good education is critical to getting a good job.”
The new budget includes a $405 million increase in per-student funding or roughly $150 per student. There’s also an extra $47 million for enhanced reading programs and funding that will enable districts to reward the best teachers.
The 2012-13 budget makes ends meet in spite of a budget gap in excess of $1 billion, on top of a $3.7-billion gap during the current budget year. Scott vetoed $142.7 million from the budget, adding to Florida’s reserves.