Florida per-student funding remains well below average, national report shows
Florida's public education spending per student remained below the national average and under many other southern states, according to a newly released National Center for Education Statistics report based on fiscal 2014.
The report shows Florida spent $8,714 per student, compared to the national average of $10,936. Florida's per-student expenditures exceeded those of Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas anywhere from $100 to $1,100. But it logged in behind Alabama by $311, Georgia by $446 and Louisiana by $2,070, among others.
Florida's 14 largest school districts, all among the nation's top 100 in terms of enrollment, fell within a fairly tight spending band between $8,000 - $10,000 per student that most systems hovered around, except for those in and around major metro areas such as Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. Among them, Miami-Dade spent $9,106 per student, Broward $8,553, Hillsborough $8,685, Orange $8,726 and Palm Beach $9,500 (the highest among the 14 Florida districts on the list).
The data arrives as Florida lawmakers debate whether to increase student funding, as Gov. Rick Scott has called for, or to reduce spending, as Florida House members have been preparing for. Education commissioner Pam Stewart presented portions of the governor's budget to the Senate PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday morning.
The House PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee is scheduled to review programs for possible reductions on Thursday.