TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) — On Friday night Governor Rick Scott met with leaders of Florida’s teachers union for the first time since taking office.

After initially proposing large cuts to school budgets during his first year in office, Friday night’s meeting may have triggered a change of heart in Gov. Scott.

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Following the two-hour meeting at the governor’s mansion, Scott vowed to maintain funding for the state’s public schools next year, and to boost the money available to schools for the 2013 school year.

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Scott has been at odds with the Florida Education Association, which has challenged the governor’s moves on merit pay for teachers and changes to the state pension.

Union president Andy Ford said he was encouraged by the start of a dialogue with the governor.

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The Associated Press contributed material for this report.

CBSMiami.com Team