TALLAHASSEE – Yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Freedom First budget, including strategic investments in addressing the workforce shortage in nursing and other workforce areas of strategic emphasis. The $5.3 billion Freedom First budget for state universities fully funds the performance-based funding model, funding that is vital to increase student retention, graduation rates, degree production, and employment outcomes. It provides funding for nursing initiatives, where institutions will be able to train more students to work in various sectors of the healthcare industry and establish or expand relationships with local entities to provide more healthcare services. Additionally, it provides funding for critical maintenance issues across the State University System of Florida.
“I’d like to thank Governor DeSantis and our legislative leaders for their bold vision, reinforcing Florida as the #1 state for higher education in the nation. The approval of this budget is a reflection of that commitment to our students and the reason we are able to offer the highest-quality education at the second-lowest tuition rate in the country,” said Brian Lamb, chair of the Board of Governors. “Thanks to the dedicated efforts of university leadership, faculty, and staff, Florida’s state universities have continued to raise the bar, and this funding will target areas where we can be the most impactful, from increasing STEM degrees to increasing accountability, rising to meet the growing workforce needs of industry partners across the state.”
State University System Funding Highlights
- A 12.8% increase in base operating funds across the System
- Fully funds performance-based funding at $560 M
- Fully funds the Board’s request for the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering at $6.6 M
- $46 M for Nursing Initiatives
- An additional $6.3 M for STEM Waivers, bringing the total to $31.3 M
- $337 M for other Legislative initiatives, including $204 M in operational enhancement funds
- $496 M for university projects
- $443.7 M for critical maintenance needs
“The State University System of Florida is one of our state’s finest assets, and having high-quality, accessible institutions at an affordable price, is something all Floridians should be proud of,” said Marshall M. Criser, III, chancellor of the State University System of Florida. “We couldn’t be more grateful for the continued support of Governor DeSantis as we strive to sustain Florida as the #1 state in the nation for higher education.”
Facts about the State University System of Florida and the Board of Governors
The State University System of Florida is a constitutional body led by the 17-member Board of Governors. The System has 12 universities and more than 430,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation. Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and managing the System’s coordination and operation. The Board appoints a Chancellor who serves as the System’s chief executive. For more, visit flbog.edu or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.