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Gaetz: It was a good year for education

Not long after the 2014 legislative session came to a close Friday, Senate President Don Gaetz said it had been “a good year for education.”

Indeed, K-12 education came out a big winner. Lawmakers simplified the complicated school grading formula. They created new scholarship accounts for children with special needs. And they directed a record-high $11 billion in state funding to the K-12 education system.

"Florida’s schools did very, very well," said Gaetz, a Niceville Republican and former Okaloosa County schools superintendent.

Democrats were also pleased with the results — for the most part.

They said Republicans had been forced to strike a balance between expanding school choice and appeasing public-school supporters.

"It's an election year," said Sen. Dwight Bullard, a Miami Democrat. "That's what it all boils down to."

Read more here.