School funding highlight during special session

- Whether your child is a first grader or a senior, what happens in Tallahassee starting Wednesday at the special session of the legislature could be critical for them. 

"It's huge. I mean they're the future workforce. They're the future of our state and our community," says Jeff Eakins, superintendent of the Hillsborough County School District.

Eakins and other school officials across Florida have been on edge as state lawmakers go back and forth on an education budget, even as the state's economy is cranking. Eakins says with property values rising and more taxes collected, officials expected more for education. 

"And when that didn't really come through, that's a head-scratcher," he says.

Legislators at first raised spending per student by less than $25, as the the Republican Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran pushed for more money for charter schools.

"When we try to have more choice for parents and teachers, the unions fight us on all this stuff. They fight innovative school boards, they fight innovative superintendents because they have that right. In the charters they can't do it," Corcoran said on Good Day Tampa Bay several weeks ago.

But now the governor has called  a special session and has put together a deal that's expected to boost charter schools and raise public school spending by a hundred dollars per student if the deal holds together.

"So right now we have a special session. We don't have an outcome yet," says Eakins.

He and many others will be watching closely as Florida lawmakers start the special session Wednesday afternoon.

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