Less than a year later, the guv suddenly had a change of heart. Whether it had anything to do with his faltering poll numbers we'll never know, but Scott announced late last year that he wanted to see the Legislature add a billion dollars in K-12 education spending in the current fiscal year.
Now, with just a couple of days left before the Legislature closes shop for the year (barring any special sessions), the governor is trumpeting the education increase, which comes as lawmakers found a way to cut over $1.4 billion in spending to balance the budget.
Read Scott's email to the voters below:
As we enter the final days of the 2012 legislative session, I'm proud to report another promise kept to Floridians: more than $1 billion in new funding for K-12 education.
The path to fulfilling this promise wasn't an easy route. Faced with a $1.4 billion budget shortfall, your state legislators put aside their differences and prioritized this much-needed boost to education funding. Thanks to the passage of SB 2000/HB 5001, we've increased public education funding to one of the highest levels in Florida's history.
Together, we will continue to work with educators, students and parents to ensure Florida's schools have the best educators as well as the finest resources in science, technology, math and the arts.
Thanks for your continued support throughout this session, which has already made 2012 a remarkable year for Floridians.
Governor Rick Scott
The Senate budget calls for an increase of more than a billion, $1.2 billion.
As PolitiFact reported earlier this year, if the Legislature approves just a billion, it won't all be new funding. About $190 million is needed to pay for 30,000 more students expected for next year, and another $220 million goes to make up for a 3 percent drop in property values.