Senate seeks slightly higher student funding than house

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A key Senate education panel released a budget proposal Wednesday that would increase public-school funding by $110 per student in 2018-2019.

The proposal is slightly higher than a House plan, released Tuesday, that would increase per-student spending by $100.

Senate and House subcommittees this week are presenting budget proposals that are an initial step in a process that will lead to the two chambers negotiating a final spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The proposal released by the Senate PreK-12 Education Appropriations Subcommittee deals with numerous issues in the public-school system, including teacher pay.

Among other things, it would transfer money from a controversial teacher-bonus program known as the “Best and Brightest” program.

That money would go into the state’s school-funding formula and would be used for teacher salary increases that would be awarded based on the same criteria as used for the bonuses, according to a summary provided by the Senate panel.