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        state education board's construction

        Fecha:Oct 11,2012

        The state Board of Education approved the amount it wants in next year’s budget for infrastructure funding this week. One thing is clear: If something is broken, it may not get fixed.

        The overall “capital outlay” budget request is $1.5 billion, down $109 million from the current year, with $938 million of that going to off pay debts. The approved document is simply a request; the decision ultimately will be made by lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott.

        The board asked for no Public Education Capital Outlay money, used for construction and maintenance, for the Florida’s K-12 system, or state universities and colleges. They collectively received $171.8 million in the current year budget.

        The only entity the board requested capital money for is the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine — $1.4 million.

        In an email sent through Department of Education spokeswoman Cheryl Etters, department staff said the money for the school will fund “safety/life” issues. The department said the school can’t do what other state schools can do to raise construction money, namely increase fees on students.

        “Unlike state colleges and universities, which have a dedicated source of capital outlay funding through capital improvement student fees, the FSDB has no dedicated source for capital outlay other than state support,” the email read.

        Terri Wiseman, the school’s administrator of business services, said the money will be used for campus maintenance, not new construction. She said the school’s original request was $9.7 million. Last year, it received $5.1 million.

        University of North Florida President John Delaney said money from the student fees are a “drop in the bucket” compared to what universities need.


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