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Rick Scott Showcases Budget for VPK and Early Learning

Gov. Rick Scott headed to Panama City on Wednesday to showcase his budget proposal to send $1.1 billion for early childhood education and care, an increase of almost $60 million from last year.

A quality early learning system is essential to provide Florida children with the tools they need to succeed, Scott said. This $1.1 billion investment will result in an increase of $100 per child for voluntary prekindergarten. This funding will help to better prepare children as they start school. As the grandfather of three young boys, I appreciate just how important these early years are and I want to be sure Floridas children have the best early learning opportunities possible.

Scott got some backing from legislative leaders from both parties on Wednesday.

As a former high school principal and school superintendent, I know the importance of early education, said Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, the vice chairman of the Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Children deserve the best opportunity to succeed that we can offer and the earlier we begin, the better chances they have. Gov. Scott understands the importance of early learning for Florida children and I applaud his efforts to promote it.

Florida led the way early on when voters passed a constitutional amendment to start voluntary prekindergarten, said Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, the chairman of the Education Appropriations Subcommittee. It is gratifying to see the governor continue to support our states early learning leadership.

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