Florida’s public educational institutions have not escaped the adverse impacts of the global credit crisis and economic downturn. To balance state and local budgets, every facet of K-12 fiscal policy must be scrutinized so as to identify necessary reductions in spending that do the least damage to the state’s public services. Fortunately, the state has been given a partial reprieve by the national economic stimulus package, which the U.S. Department of Education projects will provide Florida with as much as $3.9 billion in additional federal assistance over and above previous levels over the next two years. But that aid is only temporary assistance, not something that the state can rely upon as a permanent revenue stream. The Department and the state legislature therefore need to take advantage of the short-term opportunity created by the stimulus assistance to put into place a longer term strategy that will enhance school quality while preserving the fiscal viability of the state and its school districts. This report contains a variety of recommendations which reflect four guiding principles that need to shape the state’s overall response to the fiscal crisis.
Peterson, Paul E. "Sustaining Progress in Times of Fiscal Crisis." Report Commissioned by Florida State Board of Education, March 16, 2009.