Florida’s public education system is requesting more than $650 million for next year’s budget, but that sum does not include pay raises for employees.

Instead, the money will be used to cover costs of higher enrollment as well as reading and technology initiatives.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Department of Education had included a cost-of-living adjustment for teachers in the initial proposed budget, but the State Board of Education removed it.

According to the Sentinel,

with many businesses not able to give pay raises to employees, several board members said at a meeting last month that education personnel should not be any different. [Education Commissioner Eric] Smith said Thursday that the board simply made the decision “in acknowledgment” of the bad economy.

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