If the Legislature implements the Bush budget as proposed, public education
spending as a percentage of general revenue will fall to the lowest level in
In the budget he proposed today, education spending will make up some $14
billion out of a $27.9 billion general revenue budget---or just barely 50.1% of
all undedicated tax revenues. Further, the raw amount of GR dedicated to the
Florida Education Finance Programs line-item is just $6 million more than what
the legislature approved in the 2005-2006 state budget.
This proposal continues the trend that started when Governor took office of
annually reducing the percentage of GR spending dedicated to public education.
If education simply received the share of GR (55.4%) that was dedicated to it in
1999, the total education budget from general revenue would be more than $15.4
billion--- more than enough to reduce class sizes and increase teacher quality
Education’s reduced priority in the state budget is a salient part of the
debate. It seems counterintuitive to give the Republicans credit for increasing
education spending, when in fact they are actually reducing educations share of
state tax revenues and claiming that we can no longer afford the types of
investments that would create a world class system of neighborhood schools.