Gov. Scott wants to set a record in per-pupil spending, says it’s key to job creation

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Gov. Rick Scott is off the campaign trail but his pitch remains the same: jobs and education. The newly re-elected Scott and the Florida Cabinet met Wednesday for the first time since the election. As a candidate, Scott promised to set a record on school spending. After Wednesday’s meeting Scott told reporters he’s going to get it done.

“We’ll be able to get that done. Our economy is growing. Jobs are moving here, people are moving here this economy is getting better and we’re going to continue to invest in education,” said Scott, who then pivoted to his favorite talking point – jobs.

“It’s the most important thing we can do to make sure we continue to get jobs,” explained Scott.

Per-pupil spending in public schools was $7,126 in 20077 before the Great Recession. Budget cuts and increased enrollment since then has dropped the amount to $6,937 in the latest budget.

Scott’s campaign promise was to increase per-pupil spending by $232.

Scott re-election pitch was that he had run for office in 2010 on an economic plan to get Florida back to work by reducing the cost of doing business in the state. Wednesday he explained the plan has worked and he wants intends to keep the momentum going by making smart investments.

Here is his response to a question about conservation land buying but may also provide insight into how Scott is approaching writing next year’s state budget.

“Think about it we have the opportunity because we’ve turned our economy around; it’s headed in the right direction now and we’ve got to continue to make strategic investments, part of it is our environment,” said Scott.

State economists project lawmakers will have an extra billion dollars to spend next year. Scott’s education plan would cost about an additional $700 million.