Education trust funds have room to spend
Immokalee High School

Both funds have carry-over balances year over year.

On Wednesday, the Revenue Estimating Conference spotlighted some potentially good news for school budgets.

The Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, which includes the net proceeds of the Florida Lottery and the tax proceeds on slot machines in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. will have $2.3 billion at its disposal, up from $2.267 billion the current year, and $53 million above the November estimate.

A balance transfer from the current year of $179.5 million drives some of the uptick in available funds.

Lottery ticket sales and interest earnings add $9.1 million to the total funds available this year beyond what has been appropriated.

Optimism about lottery ticket sales informs the rest of the forecast, which sees upticks of roughly $50 million in out years.

The fund is used for a variety of appropriations. Public schools and Bright Futures scholarships occupy roughly $600 million of the current year’s spend each, with the state university system taking up another $382 million and the Florida College System $150 million. Debt service and class reduction occupy another $133 million combined.

The State School Trust Fund, when considering balance carry-over, will see an uptick of available funds in FY 2020-21, at least compared to what has actually been appropriated.

A $111.3 million balance transfer is anticipated. That, combined with a $159.1 million estimated transfer from unclaimed property proceeds, adds up to a $273.3 million appropriation.

That number was down from the $285.5 million available this year, a number boosted by a $151.9 million balance transfer.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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