Tallahassee, Florida - May 19, 2011 -
Below is a letter from Florida Board of Governors Chair Ava L. Parker to Gov. Rick Scott regarding his review of PECO funds in the budget passed during the 2011 Regular Session.
PECO (Public Education Capital Outlay) funds are not only appropriated to the State University System – they also are historically distributed and shared with the K-12 system, charter schools, and the Florida College System of state and community colleges as well.
Dear Governor Scott:
Thank you for your leadership and participation with us at our March 2011 Board
meeting. We look forward to an ongoing dialogue about the role our state’s universities
have in diversifying and transforming Florida’s economy.
As you review the budget that was presented to you by the Legislature, please know
that the Board of Governors fully supports the PECO projects that were included in the
2011 General Appropriations Act. Significant investment in our public universities — as
well as attention to deferred maintenance issues — is vital and creates thousands of
new jobs. Funding for facilities is an essential cornerstone to building an economy
based on knowledge, research discoveries, commercialization and innovation.
To assist in your evaluation, I would like to take the opportunity to provide some
additional facts for your consideration. The total funding of more than $137 million
from PECO and Lottery bonds would provide the following benefits:
-- Completion of projects currently under construction.
-- Renovation of existing educational facilities.
-- Development of new construction projects to meet the access and demand for
-- Funding for System-wide maintenance at each of the 11 state universities,
something we desperately need for capital renewal, which will help protect the
state’s existing investment in more than 4,000 buildings and associated
supporting infrastructure, such as roofs and the need to address ADA
requirements and fire safety codes at certain buildings.
We appreciate the thoughtful deliberation that you and the Cabinet brought to the May
17th meeting of the State Board of Administration (SBA). Your action in authorizing $74
million in 2008-appropriated PECO bonds serves the State of Florida well, allowing
dozens of projects across the entire spectrum of K-20 currently under construction to
continue forward to completion. As you know, PECO dollars in the statutory formula
are shared among the K-12 system, charter schools, the Florida College System of
community and state colleges, and the State University System.
Governor, you can be assured that the entire list of State University System PECO
projects as listed in the 2011 state budget on your desk adheres to all standards, were
approved by their respective university boards of trustees, and are among the top
priorities for the State University System. Should you or your staff need any additional
information regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact me or Chancellor Brogan.
You already have been a tremendous supporter of the State University System. We
continue to look forward to working with you and your team in the months and years
Ava L. Parker
c: Members, Board of Governors
Chancellor Frank T. Brogan