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Proposed Education Budget Increases Mental Health Services, Teacher Payments

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FNN) – The Office of the Governor proposed a $27.2 billion-dollar education budget to the PreK-12 Appropriation Subcommittee of the Florida House of Representatives on Thursday afternoon, almost a third of the total $96.6 billion budget for the fiscal year 2021-22.

Almost 60 percent, or over $15.6 million, would go to public school programs, which “reinforce governor [Ron] DeSantis commitment to PreK to 12th-grade students,” according to Alex Telly, Chief of Staff of the State’s Department of Education, who presented the proposal.

The State proposed a $10 million increase in mental health services and $50 million in teacher pay increases, aimed to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The budget was made on the basis of trying to reopen the schools safely within the pandemic and presuming that “Florida will only hit its economic stride if schools are open,” in light of the pandemic.

“Last April, only 42 percent of early learning programs were open. All of them, in different ways, were trying to help that world sustain itself. Today 98 percent of those programs are,” said Telly.

The budget also recommends $10 million in literacy program and $250,000 in teacher training on virtual learning management systems.

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Juan Carlo Rodriguez is a politics and entertainment reporter for Florida National News. | info@floridanationalnews.com

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