After decades of bad policy and neglect, it is time for a “Decade of Progress” for Florida’s students and our neighborhood public schools. As our Fund Our Future campaign continues, we are asking lawmakers to invest $22 billion in public education over the next 10 years.
What we are calling for
- Over the next decade, Florida will be in the TOP 10 in the nation in per-student funding.
- Over the next decade, Florida will be in the TOP 10 in the nation in teacher pay.
- Over the next decade, Florida will be in the TOP 10 in the nation in pay for education staff professionals.
The 2020 legislative session
- To begin the “Decade of Progress,” lawmakers must make a serious down payment of $2.4 billion in 2020.
- An investment of $2.4 billion equals a 10 percent increase in per-student funding. While that sounds like a lot, it will move Florida up only four spots in the national rankings.
- This investment would increase per-student funding by $767, of which at least $614 must go to the base student allocation (BSA), the flexible money under local control.
- This investment would allow districts to restore cuts to music, art, physical education, school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers and others.
- This investment would allow for districts to better address struggling schools that have suffered under decades of underfunding.
- This investment would allow pay increases of 10 percent for every public school employee — teachers, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, office staff, cafeteria workers, etc.
- Florida is 43rd in the nation in per-student spending.*
- Florida is 46th in the nation in teacher pay — more than $12,000 below the national average.*
- Florida has nearly 50,000 education staff professionals who earn a wage below the national poverty level for a family of four.*
- Florida spends less on public education today than before the Great Recession — in inflation-adjusted dollars, nearly $1,000 less per student.
- Florida faces a massive shortage of teachers, bus drivers, paraprofessionals and others.
- Because of these shortages, thousands of classrooms lack teachers and paraprofessionals, and many districts are struggling to get kids to school safely and on time.
* Source: National Education Association, 2018