Gov. Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis unveils state budget with hike in school spending, teacher pay raises

Headlines

Sarasota Herald Tribune | by John Kennedy and Zac Anderson | January 28, 2021

Despite budget problems brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed an increase in per-pupil K-12 education spending during the rollout of his 2021-2022 budget Thursday.

DeSantis proposed a $22.8 billion K-12 budget, or $8,019 per student, which the governor said is an increase of $233 in per-pupil funding.

The governor also is budgeting an additional $50 million for teacher pay raises and more money for mental health programs in schools.

Gov. Ron DeSantis reveals his fiscal year 2021-2022 budget proposal in a press conference at the Capitol Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.

Governor Ron DeSantis reveals his fiscal year 2021-2022 budget proposal in a press conference at the Capitol Thursday, January 28, 2021. Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat

The total proposed budget is $96.6 billion, a $4.3 billion increase, much of which is related to COVID-19 expenditures. 

DeSantis said his budget does not include any tax increases and does not increase tuition at Florida’s colleges and universities. It maintains $625 million for environmental initiatives.

The governor’s budget recommendations are only suggestions. The Legislature approves the budget, although DeSantis has veto authority.

Gov. Ron DeSantis reveals his fiscal year 2021-2022 budget proposal in a press conference at the Capitol Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.

Governor Ron DeSantis reveals his fiscal year 2021-2022 budget proposal in a press conference at the Capitol Thursday, January 28, 2021. Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat

Republican lawmakers who control the Legislature have talked about the possibility of cutting education spending to make up for a big decline in tax revenues during the pandemic.