Money is a necessity in public education. In the current year, schools received an increase of 1.39% over the previous year. However, when funds were specifically designated for programs like safe schools and mental health it left a measly 47 cents per student increase in the base allocation. Costs such as salaries and benefits, insurance, curriculum, utilities, and district operations are paid for out of this revenue. The State Board of Education has recommended a 2.82% increase in the 2019-2020 base student allocation which would provide districts with approximately a $200 increase. Such an increase is but a figment of our imagination.
FASA’s number one priority is to adequately fund the BSA. We support the DOE recommendation! Your lobbyist and Association will be fighting alongside districts and other organizations to improve the flexible funding in the BSA so that schools can be safe, attract and retain quality teachers, provide students with appropriate challenging curriculum and technology, expand professional development for administrators and teachers, and continue to propel learning compared to the nation and the world.
To that end, our legislative priorities are:
- A substantial increase in flexible BSA funding;
- Legislation that supports highly effective/high impact teachers in passage of certification exams;
- Increase teacher recruitment and retention through a loan forgiveness program;
- Amend laws to recalibrate Capital Outlay dollars and the cost per student station formula;
- Continue to increase standards and funding for early learning programs; and
- Allow retired teachers to return immediately to school districts.
These are but a few of our priorities. We will always “weigh in” on legislation that impacts any and all of Florida’s students.