DeSantis budget allocates $ 4 billion to Florida state colleges and universities


By BETHANY BLANKLEY

THE PLACE DU CENTER CONTRIBUTOR

COURTESY PHOTO
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

(The Center Square) – When the Florida legislature meets in January, it will review a range of fundraising initiatives prioritized in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ FY2023 budget proposal. Much of it includes historic funding of $ 23.9 billion for education, of which $ 13.3 billion would go to K-12 public schools serving nearly 3 million Florida students.

Governor DeSantis’ education budget also seeks to allocate $ 4 billion to fund Florida state colleges and universities, as well as significant funding to review and expand workforce development programs. work, grants and scholarships.

If approved by lawmakers, it will allocate $ 1.3 billion to funding Florida state colleges and $ 2.7 billion to Florida state universities, without increasing tuition fees.

“Our students and their families should not face additional financial burdens while they complete their studies,” the governor’s budget summary said.

It would also allocate about $ 122 million in operating funds to historically black colleges and universities in Florida, including more than $ 90 million to Florida A&M University, $ 16.96 million to Bethune-Cookman University, 7.4 million dollars to Edward Waters College and $ 7 million to Florida Memorial University.

The budget also maintains $ 20.8 million for the Florida Post Secondary Academic Library Network used by the Florida College System and the State University System. This includes $ 9 million in proposed funding to state colleges and $ 11.8 million to state universities for electronic resources, technical support, and distance learning technology.

The governor’s budget proposal also allocates $ 602 million to fund the state’s Bright Futures scholarship program and $ 40 million to provide a stipend of $ 300 to each Florida university scholar for semesters of. autumn and spring. It would also provide $ 35 million to the Open Door Grant program to fund school district workforce training institutions and Florida College System institutions.

Another priority on the education portion of the budget is to increase the affordability of workforce training and certification for Floridians. To accomplish this, the budget seeks to allocate more than $ 534 million to support workforce training programs, including $ 15 million for the Governor’s Pathways to Career Opportunities grant program, which supports the programs. pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship for high school and college students.

It offers funding of $ 560 million for the performance of state universities, $ 25 million for two incentive funds for state colleges and funding for students obtaining industry certifications in fields. highly skilled and in high demand at state colleges ($ 14 million) and technical career centers ($ 6.5 million). million).

It would also completely overhaul Florida’s workforce development and training system, allocating an additional $ 100 million to implement the consumer-driven workforce system.

In addition to apprenticeship programs, tech centers, and workforce development programs at state colleges and universities, it would also fund two new programs designed to expand Florida’s police force.

Earlier this year, Governor DeSantis invited law enforcement officials from other states or cities affected by the movements to fund their police departments to relocate to Florida. He offered to pay officers a hiring bonus of $ 5,000, to cover their relocation expenses and the costs of exams and other related training programs. Several from New York have already accepted the offer and have moved to Florida.

The budget proposal would fund this initiative by allocating $ 25 million to cover the cost of bonus payments of $ 5,000, which are also offered to new hires who live in Florida. It is also allocating $ 6 million to fund two education and workforce development programs: $ 5 million for a Law Enforcement Academy scholarship program and $ 1 million dollars to establish an equivalency reimbursement initiative for out-of-state law enforcement.

The funding would cover the cost of law enforcement academies for potential agents, the state agent certification exam fees, and all costs of the equivalency training program necessary for agent relocation.

Governor DeSantis’ budget also aims to spend $ 100 million to fund Workforce Development Capitalization Incentive Grants to help grantees purchase educational materials, laboratory equipment, supplies or other expenses.

Florida’s higher education system has been ranked the best in the country for five consecutive years by US News and World Report. The Sunshine State has five of the nation’s top 100 public universities, including one in the top 5 and another in the top 20.

The University of Florida was just ranked the fifth best public university in the country by US News & World Report’s 2022 Best College. It also placed ninth in student results, tied with Stanford and Brown universities. It was also among the best undergraduate and research schools for veterans, and its online undergraduate program was ranked third among the best in the country.

Florida Southern College was named the best Christian college in the state for 2022 by EDsmart. Princeton Review’s guide to the 387 best colleges also ranked it among its 20 best campuses in the country.

Florida colleges and universities also offer some of the lowest tuition fees in the United States for four-year public institutions, notes the governor’s office.


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