PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Governor Rick Scott spent Friday morning at Nease High School, touting his new budget and the promises he's made to public education. "It's a $1.2 billion increase in K-12 funding," said the Governor.
After years of cuts, that's welcome news to local school districts. "Part of that is a $2500 increase for every classroom teacher," he said.
He said he wants teachers to spend less of their own money on supplies. And he'd like to see some of the funds used to train teachers. The money will be allocated to the school districts. And the Governor said he's counting on them to distribute it fairly.
Senator John Thrasher praised the Governor's plan. He said, "Teachers, I promise you, you will get a raise this year."
So where is all this money coming from? A $430 million budget surplus.
Governor Scott said Florida's economy was in the tank two years ago when he took office. Cuts were made across the board. But he said those tough decisions then, helped him get to where the state is now.
He said the economy is finally rebounding. "Tourism is up. 89 million tourists came here last year. Exports are up. New home prices are up. All home prices are up. Home sales are up."
Senator Thrasher said he's confident the State Legislature will back the Governor's budget. Especially the education piece, which also includes investments in higher education.
"We are investing in our universities, investing in out state colleges," said Governor Scott. "And we're going to make this absolutely number one place for you not only wanting to get an education, but to get a job."