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State Board of Education wants $442 million for technology upgrades

The Florida Board of Education is putting finishing touches on the budget request that it will send to Gov. Rick Scott, and at the center of its plan for the upcoming fiscal year is a $442 million technology initiative.

That money would be used to increase the availability of wireless internet ($239 million), increase internet bandwith ($151 million) and purchase new technology or tools ($52 million).

The State Board of Education is scheduled to discuss the budget proposal during its meeting on Tuesday. In total, $891 million in new funding is being requested for 2013-2014.

Of that amount, $198 million reflects growth in enrollment among the state's prekindergarten, K-12 schools and state colleges. The total Department of Education budget request is $15.2 billion. The 2012-2013 budget is $14.6 billion.

As in previous years, there is increased investment in charter schools. The budget request sets aside $64 million in new money for charter school capital outlay projects.

Scott has already said he will not support decreases in education funding and would like to boost education spending if possible, so the budget request under consideration appears to be in line with his thinking.

Click here to download the Department of Education's Legislative Budget Request and Fixed Capital Outlay Budget Request.