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Public education in Florida

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K-12 Education in Florida
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Pam Stewart
Number of students: 2,668,156[1]
Number of teachers: 175,006
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:15.2
Number of school districts: 76
Number of schools: 4,212
Graduation rate: 75%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $8,887[3]
See also
Florida Department of Education
Florida school districts
List of school districts in Florida
Florida
School boards portal
Policypedia
Education policy logo.jpg
Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Florida
Glossary of education terms
The Florida public school system (prekindergarten-grade 12) operates within districts governed by locally elected school boards and superintendents. In 2012 Florida had 2,668,156 students enrolled in a total of 4,212 schools in 76 school districts. While the national ratio of teachers to students was 1:16, in Florida there were 175,006 teachers in the public schools, or roughly one teacher for every 15 students. There was roughly one administrator for every 326 students, compared to the national average of one administrator for every 295 students.[4] On average Florida spent $8,887 per pupil in 2011, which ranked it 39th in the nation. The state's graduation rate was 75 percent. This was the Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate reported to the United States Department of Education for all students in 2011-2012.[5]

State agencies

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State Education Departments

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See also
Florida Commissioner of Education
Florida school districts
List of school districts in Florida
Public education in Florida
School board elections portal
The Florida Department of Education serves as the state's repository of education data, which allows the department to track student performance over time. The Department of Education also administers a statewide reading initiative with the goal of every child in the state reading at or above grade level.[6] Pam Stewart is the Florida Commissioner of Education.[7]

The Florida State Board of Education has eight members, including a chair, a vice chair and the Commissioner of Education.[8]

The mission statement of the Florida State Board of Education reads:[9]

Increase the proficiency of all students within one seamless, efficient system, by providing them with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills through learning opportunities and research valued by students, parents, and communities, and to maintain an accountability system that measures student progress toward the following goals:
  • Highest student achievement
  • Seamless articulation and maximum access
  • Skilled workforce and economic development
  • Quality efficient services[10]

Common Core

Common Core or Common Core State Standards Initiative is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Florida State Board of Education adopted these standards on July 27, 2010 and implemented them during the 2013-2014 school year.[11] In February 2014, the Florida Board of Education made changes to the original Common Core State Standards, adding Mathematics Florida Standards (MAFS) and Language Arts Florida Standards (LAFS), which are to be implemented during the 2014-2015 school year.[12]

Regional comparison

See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states and Education spending per pupil in all 50 states

The following chart shows how Florida compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.

Regional Comparison
State Schools Districts Students Teachers Teacher/pupil ratio Administrator/pupil ratio Per pupil spending
Florida 4,212 76 2,668,156 175,006 1:15.2 1:325.8 $8,887
Alabama 1,618 170 744,621 47,723 1:15.6 1:293.5 $8,813
Georgia 2,388 216 1,685,016 111,133 1:15.2 1:274.9 $9,253
MIssissippi 1,069 163 490,619 32,007 1:15.3 1:251 $7,928
United States 98,328 17,992 49,521,669 3,103,263 1:16 1:295.2 $10,994
Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.

National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Demographics

See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Florida as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[13]

Demographic Information for Florida's K-12 Public School System
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 9,888 0.37% 1.10%
Asian 67,758 2.54% 4.68%
African American 612,465 22.95% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 3,008 0.11% 0.42%
Hispanic 762,854 28.59% 24.37%
White 1,131,901 42.42% 51.21%
Two or More 80,282 3.01% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

Enrollments by region type

See also: Student distribution by region type in the U.S.

A plurality of students in Florida attend suburban schools. Unlike Florida, Alabama and Mississippi students are more likely to attend rural schools than suburban schools. For more comparisons, look to the table below.

Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)
State City schools Suburban schools Town schools Rural Schools
Florida 24.3% 50.3% 5.0% 20.5%
Alabama 20.6% 16.9% 14.4% 48.0%
Georgia 14.0% 38.0% 9.9% 38.0%
Mississippi 10.0% 8.9% 28.9% 52.2%
U.S. average 28.9% 34.0% 11.6% 25.4%
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD)

Academic performance

Policypedia
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Education policy terms
Academic bankruptcyAcademic EarthAcademic performanceBlaine AmendmentCharter schoolsCommon CoreDropout rateNAEPProgressive educationRegulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation RateSchool vouchersTeacher merit pay
See also

NAEP scores

See also: NAEP scores by state

The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Florida's scores were higher than its three comparison states (Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi). The state's grade four scores were also higher than the national average.[14]

Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013
Math - Grade 4 Math - Grade 8 Reading - Grade 4 Reading - Grade 8
Florida 41 31 39 33
Alabama 30 20 31 25
Georgia 39 29 34 32
Mississippi 26 21 21 20
U.S. average 41 34 34 34
NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013

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Graduation, ACT and SAT scores

See also: Graduation rates by groups in state and ACT and SAT scores in the U.S.

The following table shows the graduation rates, average composite ACT and SAT scores, and rankings for Florida and surrounding states.[15][16][17]

Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*
State Graduation rate, 2012 Average ACT Composite, 2012 Average SAT Composite, 2013
Percent Quintile ranking** Score Participation rate Score Participation rate
Florida 75% Fourth 19.8 70% 1457 67%
Alabama 75% Fourth 20.3 86% 1608 7%
Georgia 70% Fifth 20.7 52% 1452 75%
Mississippi 75% Fourth 18.7 100% 1673 3%
U.S. average 80% 21.1 1498
*Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express

Dropout rate

See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states

The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Florida was lower than the national average at 2.1 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 2.1 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.[18]

Educational choice options

See also: School choice in Florida

More students in Florida take online courses than in any other state. Other school choice options open to students in Florida include charter schools, homeschooling, scholarship programs, private schools and two public school open enrollment policies.

Education funding and expenditures

See also: Florida state budget
Breakdown of expenditures by function in FY 2012.
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 18.8 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. This is down 1.4 percentage points, a 6.9 percent decrease in the share of the budget from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 20.2 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.[19][20][21][22][23] Nearly 48 percent of Florida's education revenue comes from local funding. State funding accounts for just over 34 percent, and federal funding accounts for just under 18 percent.

Comparison of financial figures for school systems
State Percent of budget (2012) Per pupil spending (2011) Revenue sources (2011)
Percent federal funds Percent state funds Percent local funds
Florida 18.8% $8,887 17.81% 34.29% 47.9%
Alabama 20.9% $8,813 14.6% 53.77% 31.63%
Georgia 24% $9,253 12.57% 41.58% 45.85%
Mississippi 16.9% $7,928 22.33% 45.95% 31.72%
Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Revenue breakdowns

See also: Public school system revenues in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Florida totaled approximately $26.4 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Florida and surrounding states.[24]

Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Federal revenue State revenue Local revenue Total revenue
Florida $4,710,376 $9,069,119 $12,666,978 $26,446,473
Alabama $1,077,070 $3,965,614 $2,332,472 $7,375,156
Georgia $2,267,612 $7,499,327 $8,268,366 $18,035,305
Mississippi $1,006,465 $2,071,467 $1,429,770 $4,507,702
U.S. total $74,943,767 $267,762,416 $264,550,594 $607,256,777
Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)

pChart

Expenditure breakdowns

See also: Public school system expenditures in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Florida totaled approximately $27 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Florida and surrounding states.[24]

Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Current expenditures** Capital outlay Other*** Total expenditures
Florida $23,428,499 $2,217,069 $1,346,378 $26,991,946
Alabama $6,582,496 $564,183 $255,905 $7,402,584
Georgia $15,465,308 $1,368,403 $291,801 $17,125,512
Mississippi $3,888,831 $368,906 $88,046 $4,345,783
U.S. total $520,577,893 $52,984,139 $29,581,293 $603,143,325
**Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)

pChart

Personnel salaries

See also: Public school teacher salaries in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Florida, the average salary decreased by 6.5 percent.[25]

Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)
1999-2000 2009-2010 2011-2012 2012-2013 Percent difference
Florida $50,184 $49,858 $47,253 $46,944 -6.5%
Alabama $50,139 $50,779 $48,802 $47,949 -4.4%
Georgia $56,062 $56,694 $53,819 $52,880 -5.7%
Mississippi $43,535 $48,722 $42,339 $41,994 -3.5%
U.S. average $57,133 $58,925 $56,340 $56,383 -1.3%
**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."

Organizations

Unions

In 2012, the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Florida ranked 50th overall, or weakest, which was in the fifth tier of five.[26]

List of local Florida school unions:

Issues

  • In March 2008, the statewide school union, Florida Education Association, threatened to sue after state officials announced a possible increase in funds for the state’s corporate tax credit scholarship program which provides financial aid to students transferring to alternative public or private schools. After that announcement, the union stated that if programs tripled in five years they might also take the corporate tax credit program to court.[27]
  • The teachers union previously challenged the "opportunity scholarship program," which provides aid to students attending failing schools to transfer to alternative public or private schools. In 2006, a court ruling ended the private school option of the program.[27]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: Florida government sector lobbying

As of 2009, 27 Florida school districts had registered lobbyists, and at least 52 school districts were members of the Florida School Boards Association, the main education government sector lobbying organization.[28]

On June 10, 2009, Governor Charlie Crist signed into law a bill that prevents taxpayer funded organizations from using taxpayer money on political advertisements. The law took effect July 1, 2009 but still allowed school boards, cities and counties to distribute ballot information as long as it was "factual."[29]

Transparency

See also: Evaluation of Florida school district websites
  • In June 2009, a Florida circuit court judge ruled that "a man has no right to have access to thousands of names, addresses and telephone numbers of employees and their dependents enrolled in the Manatee County School District’s health insurance plan." Circuit Judge Edward Nicholas said the information was exempt under Florida law and could not be requested. The ruling came to light after Joel Chandler made a public records request for health insurance information from all the Florida school districts.[30]
  • In early 2009, Senator Mike Fasano sponsored Senate Bill 468. The bill proposed to exempt personal identifying information regarding the health and benefit coverage of public school employees from the Sunshine Law. The transparency legislation was proposed in reaction to the outcry that arose after Joel Chandler requested the information.[31]

Education ballot measures

See also: Education on the ballot and List of Florida ballot measures


Ballotpedia staff have tracked 39 statewide ballot measures relating to education.

  1. Florida Class Size, Amendment 8 (2010)
  2. Florida College and University Board Term Limits, Amendment 2 (1964)
  3. Florida County School Fund, Amendment 1 (1926)
  4. Florida County School Superintendent Appointment, Amendment 5 (1964)
  5. Florida County Superintendents, Amendment 8 (1956)
  6. Florida County Superintendents of Public Instruction, Amendment 2 (1966)
  7. Florida Education, Amendment 8 (1978)
  8. Florida Education Bonds, Amendment 2 (1948)
  9. Florida Education Capital Project Funds, Amendment 1 (1952)
  10. Florida Educational Facility Bonds, Amendment 8 (1992)
  11. Florida Equal Opportunity Education, Straw Poll 2 (March 1972)
  12. Florida Forced Busing, Straw Poll 1 (March 1972)
  13. Florida Governing Boards for Universities, Amendment 11 (2002)
  14. Florida Higher Learning Institution Capital Bonds, Amendment 2 (1963)
  15. Florida Local Option Sales Tax for Community College Funding, Amendment 8 (2008)
  16. Florida Motor Vehicle License Fee Use , Amendment 4 (1972)
  17. Florida Public Education Capital Outlay Bonds, Amendment 8 (1984)
  18. Florida Public Education of Children, Amendment 6 (1998)
  19. Florida Reduce Class Size, Amendment 9 (2002)
  20. Florida Revenue Bonds for Higher Education, Amendment 1 (1969)
  21. Florida School Bonds, Amendment 2 (1912)
  22. Florida School Bonds Funding, Amendment 3 (1964)
  23. Florida School Construction Finance, Amendment 7 (1970)
  24. Florida School Construction and Gross Receipts Taxes, Amendment 1 (1974)
  25. Florida School Districts, Amendment 1 (1922)
  26. Florida School Districts and Trustees, Amendment 3 (1928)
  27. Florida School Fund Principal Use, Amendment 4 (1964)
  28. Florida School Parity, Amendment 3 (1938)
  29. Florida School Prayer, Straw Poll 3 (March 1972)
  30. Florida School Superintendent Appointment, Amendment 1 (May 1968)
  31. Florida School Tax, Amendment 1 (1918)
  32. Florida School Tax, Amendment 2 (1904)
  33. Florida Special School Tax, Amendment 2 (1908)
  34. Florida Special Tax School District Bonds, Amendment 3 (1924)
  35. Florida State School Fund, Amendment 3 (October 1894)
  36. Florida Student Loans, Amendment 2 (March 1972)
  37. Florida Superintendent of Public Instruction in Certain Counties, Amendment 2 (1962)
  38. Florida Taylor County School Superintendent Appointment, Amendment 6 (1964)
  39. Florida Universal Pre-Kindergarten, Amendment 8 (2002)

Studies and reports

ABCs of School Choice

The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice publishes a comprehensive guide to private school choice programs across the U.S. In its 2014 edition, the Foundation reviewed Florida's John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program and Florida's tax credit scholarship program. The John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program gives vouchers to students with disabilities or 504 plans so that they can attend private school or other public schools. The Foundation found that the John M. McKay Scholarships program has solid funding power and is limited only in that it is offered exclusively to students with disabilities. Florida's tax credit scholarship program gives tax credits to corporations who donate to Scholarship Funding Organizations (SFOs). The Foundation found that the program is limited because it is only offered to students who qualify for free or reduced lunches or to students who are in foster care. The Foundation recommends the program increases student eligibility.[32] The full Friedman Foundation report can be found here.

State Budget Solutions education study

See also: State spending on education v. academic performance (2012)

State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates, and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states which spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Florida + Education "

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Florida Education News Feed

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See also

External links

References

  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
  5. United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
  6. Florida Department of Education, "About the Department of Education," accessed May 14, 2014
  7. Florida Department of Education, "Commissioner of Education: Pam Stewart," accessed May 14, 2014
  8. Florida Department of Education, "Florida State Board of Education Members," accessed May 14, 2014
  9. Florida Department of Education, "State Board of Education: Mission," accessed May 14, 2014
  10. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  11. Common Core: State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State,” accessed July 12, 2014
  12. Florida Department of Education, "Bureau of Standards and Instructional Support," accessed June 17, 2014
  13. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  14. National Center for Education Statistics, "State Profiles," accessed May 14, 2014
  15. United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
  16. ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
  17. Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
  18. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
  19. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
  20. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
  21. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
  22. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
  23. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
  24. 24.0 24.1 United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014
  25. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
  26. Thomas E Fordham Institute, "How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
  27. 27.0 27.1 WJHG, "School Vouchers Latest," March 25,2008
  28. Florida Sunshine - Lobbyist Information
  29. Sun Sentinel, "Florida Gov. Crist signs 'muzzle' law," June 11,2009
  30. Bradenton Herald, "Judge rules employees’ info off limits," June 23,2009
  31. Florida Senate, "SB 468," accessed June 29,2009
  32. The Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, "The ABCs of School Choice," 2014 Edition