Statement from Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future, on Gov. Ron DeSantis signing the 2020-21 state budget that supports student-centered policies.

“Florida continually steps up to big and complex challenges, and this year is no different. In prudently balancing resources with impacts of a pandemic, Florida’s policymakers have maintained their commitment to students and educators. Their investments in education will benefit our great state long after 2020 is over.

“I am grateful for the leadership of Gov. DeSantis in keeping our focus on what’s most important—our students, our teachers and our families.

“The Governor’s veto of School Recognition money that rewards schools whose grades improve is prudent this year, given the pandemic’s disruption of our assessment and school grading system.

“Florida has made continued progress over the last two decades by annually measuring what we care about – student learning, holding school’s accountable for that learning, rewarding schools that improve and excel and providing a plurality of high-quality choice options for parents.”

Education highlights in the budget include:

  • A $500 million investment in teacher pay that will benefit our state for generations.
  • Support for families who rely on Gardiner Scholarships to customize the learning experience for children with unique abilities.
  • Investments in scholarships for young students who are struggling to read.
  • Increased training in computer science for teachers so they can help equip students with 21st century skills.
  • Higher funding for the Voluntary Prekindergarten Program to prepare our youngest learners for success in kindergarten and beyond.
  • Support for nearly 313,000 students statewide with capital outlay funding for public charter schools ($169.9 million).


To see if your family can benefit from Florida’s many successful choice programs, visit