Negotiators agree on $12.4B for Florida school funding


TALLAHASSEE – House and Senate budget writers agreed Wednesday to set aside $12.4 billion for the Florida Education Finance Program, the primary mechanism for funding the operations of school districts.

The Senate’s initial budget plan allotted $12.7 billion for the closely watched pot of money, commonly known as the FEFP. But the Senate agreed to lower that number by roughly $300 million while negotiating with the House, which earlier had proposed $12.2 billion for the FEFP.

“Obviously, in the beginning, the Senate wanted to do all that we could, but we do have to work out a budget with our partners in the House, and so we brought that down to try and compromise,” said Sen. Kelli Stargel, a Lakeland Republican who is the Senate’s top education budget writer. “But it is still a very good number.”

Stargel said the number is an increase from previous years in that part of the budget.

House and Senate negotiators need to continue working out details of the education budget plan for the fiscal year starting July 1.