Commissioner Corcoran Applauds Governor DeSantis for 2021 Legislative Successes


June 2, 2021

FDOE Press Office

Commissioner Corcoran Applauds Governor DeSantis for 2021 Legislative Successes

Tallahassee, Fla., June 2, 2021 – Today, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran celebrated the success of the 2021 Legislative Session and congratulated Governor DeSantis for his bold vision and leadership for the Sunshine State. The Florida Leads $22.8 billion budget for K-12 education includes streamlined and expanded school choice options and increases in funding for teacher raises and mental health services.

“I am extremely proud of what we accomplished during the 2021 Legislative Session after a year of unprecedented challenges,” said Governor DeSantis. “Florida is continuing to lead the way and show the nation our fortitude and resiliency in recovering from the pandemic. Our schools remain open, our teachers continue to inspire and our students continue to learn, proving once again that Florida is truly the best state in the country to get a world-class education.”

“Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ forward-thinking governance, Florida remains on a steady path to become number one for education in the country,” said Commissioner Corcoran. “I am thankful for the Legislature embracing the Governor’s priorities to ensure every student has the opportunity to receive the best education possible and every teacher feels valued and appreciated. We are full steam ahead so all students are set up for success to realize their educational and life goals.”

Major highlights of the 2021-2022 Florida Leads education budget include:

  • $24.7 billion overall commitment, including capital outlay funding, to early learning through K-20 students.
    • Of this funding, $2.8 billion is from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.
  • $12.9 billion in state funding for the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) for K-12.
  • $550 million, an increase of $50 million, to continue increasing the teacher minimum base salary, as well as salary increases for veteran teachers and other eligible instructional personnel.
  • $216 million in federal funding to provide $1,000 disaster relief payments to public principals and full-time classroom teachers from Pre-K through 12th grade 
  • $464 million safety net to ensure school districts have funding to cover the costs associated with any increased student enrollment resulting from school choice options and increases above previous enrollment projections.
  • $120 million, an increase of $20 million, for school mental health programs.
  • $200 million, of which $125 million is federal funding, for the New World Reading Initiative established within House Bill 3.
  • $14.5 million in federal funding to implement House Bill 7011 which prioritizes student literacy by placing Florida students on a roadmap to reading on grade level by 3rd grade  
  • $17.1 million to continue leadership professional development in computer science, mental health, and school safety.
  • $1.5 million for teacher professional development for Florida’s new Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and Math
  • $908,000 to provide all educators with free liability insurance to allow them to focus on doing what matters most – educating and inspiring their students to succeed in life.?? 
  • $228 million for school safety measures, including $180 million maintained for the Safe Schools component of the FEFP, $42 million for school hardening grants to improve the physical security of school buildings, and $6.5 million for Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program.
  • $4 million in funding for additional security and enhanced safety measures to ensure children at eligible Florida Jewish Day Schools can learn and thrive in a safe environment. 
  • $7.5 million in federal funding to implement House Bill 419 and modernize Florida’s VPK accountability system to identify students’ emergent literacy and mathematics skills deficiencies to provide those students intensive interventions.
  • $35 million in federal funding for the new “Open Door Grant Program” established within House Bill 1507 to cover up to two-thirds of the cost of short-term, high-demand workforce education programs.
  • $15.5 million for the Dual Enrollment Scholarship Program to increase and expand student access to dual enrollment opportunities.
  • $10 million is maintained for the Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant to provide high-quality pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship opportunities to students by providing them with an avenue to help meet the needs of Florida’s rapidly growing workforce.
  • $20.8 million for the “Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network,” a one-stop-shop to support Florida College System and State University System students’ education goals.
  • $126.2 million investment to continue Florida’s steadfast commitment to its four Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

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