Education’s big winner in spending

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Visit with Rep. Stone on Wednesday

I am very proud education was a big winner in this year’s budget. Funding education was a priority this session; our bi-partisan budget added over a billion new dollars for K-12 education. 

From those funds we increased per student funding by nearly $400 and set aside $480 million to be used for pay raises for our hard-working teachers.

I believe Florida’s students have showed notable improvements in recent years, and this is a testament to our teachers. We should reward our best teachers for a job well done. 

Teachers ranked as effective will be eligible for a $2,500 pay raise, and those ranked highly effective will be eligible for $3,500. Not only does this merit pay plan reward our teachers who work the hardest, but I believe it also serves as a recruiting tool to bring the best and brightest into the classroom.

I believe this education budget aims to wisely invest the state’s resources in our school system and provide it adequate funding. This education budget is about smart investment. I believe it is about giving our school system the funding it needs to ensure Florida continues to be a national leader in education. Our school system has made tremendous strides in the last 15 years due in part to our education reform policies, and these improvements should ensure this substantial increase in education funding will lead to more of our children succeeding in school.

State Rep. Charlie Stone (R-District 22) includes Levy County. He can be contacted at 352-291-4436 or 3001 S.W. College Road, Suite 104, Ocala.