House and Senate budget negotiators who’ll begin conference negotiations next week will have to account for more than 1,700 additional students, state economists concluded Friday.
That may not sound like a lot in the context of the more than 2.8 million kids enrolled in the PreK-12 system. Still, it adds up to nearly $12.3 million under the least generous formula pending in the Legislature.
“At this point, any difference is painful to them,” Amy Baker, head of the Office of Economic and Demographic research, said of legislative budget writers.
“The both have their plans, they’re negotiating on their plans, so any number that’s increasing over what either of them have is, you know …,” Baker trailed off.
The House budget would allocate more than $7,223.71 per student; the Senate, $7,414. Gov. Rick Scott has proposed spending $7,421.
The budget for the existing budget year is $13.7 billion.