Fla. Board of Education seeking budget increases

Approved plan envisioning to close achievement gap between white, minority students

ORLANDO, Fla. - The State Board of Education is seeking a $643 million, or 4.4 percent, spending increase next year for Florida's public schools and colleges.

The board on Tuesday in Orlando also approved a new five-year strategic plan that envisions minority students narrowing -- but not fully closing -- their achievement gap with white students.

The panel, though, delayed a decision on whether to appeal a judge's ruling that would permit in-state tuition rates to be paid by U.S.-born Florida residents who are children of illegal immigrants.

U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore last month in Miami ruled that public colleges and universities cannot charge students higher out-of-state tuition simply because their parents are illegal immigrants.

The board deferred action because Moore hasn't yet issued a final written order.

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