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Scott reveals education budget

Gov. Rick Scotts budget was met with baited breath by higher education institutions when it was released last week.

As USF President Judy Genshaft stood to his left, Scott unveiled the details of his $74 billion budget, the largest budget in Floridas history. His announcements surrounding education were met with smiles including higher education.

Scotts proposal will maintain the last years level of funding and restore $118 million of the $300 million cut from the State University System last year and provide an additional $167 million to be divided between the 12 state universities based on performance.

Genshaft and the other state university presidents had previously banded together in a campaign called Aim Higher that worked to see the full $300 million restored and an additional $118 million in performance-based funding added in return for keeping tuition status quo something Scott has long advocated for.

Scott also released an idea for a bill that would freeze the rate of tuition for students who graduate in four years, so tuition does not increase during the course of their matriculation. The plan, Finish in Four, seeks to incentivize keeping tuition low and raising four-year graduation rates something USF has received harsh questioning from the Board of Governors about.

The Legislature will begin discussing the governors proposal this week.
Staff report