TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Gov. Rick Scott’s budget proposal will include an increase for education.

During an address to newspaper editors at the Capitol, Scott said he’s calling an increase of $1.2 billion in the K-12 education budget, a roughly $400 per student increase.

Scott said Florida’s economy has steadily improved under his direction and that now is the time to “strategically invest” in public education.

Last week, Scott announced that his budget would also include a pay raise of $2,500 to every full-time teacher in the state.

Scott, whose budget is due to lawmakers by Feb. 3, called on the Legislature last year to raise education funding by $1 billion. They did.

Scott’s raise for teachers would cost an estimated $480 million. The increases would also have to be approved by local school board.

Scott also wants to create a program that would allow teachers, who often spend their own money on students, to get debit cards tied to the school system with which they could purchase supplies.

There are about 168,000 teachers statewide.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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