Saturday, March 5, 2016
Is a one percent increase in education spending really historic?
The Florida legislature and Rick Scott are touting historic education spending. Unfortunately what they are proposing amounts a one percent increase. When people realize the inflation rate in 2015 was 1.4 percent some of the luster comes off that historic spending. The sad truth is if Florida wanted to just match the per pupil spending on 2007 instead of adding 52 dollars like the legislature is proposing they would have to add nearly 900 dollars per pupil.
I would also like to mention that Florida consistently ranks near the bottom on education spending and this meager one percent increase does nothing to change that.
It also gets worse when you also consider some of the bills making their way through the legislature. One would force school districts to share their local tax revenue with charter schools many of which are both set up and run by for profit management companies, another limits counties ability to raise special taxes to support things like education and a third proposes giving charter schools of which there are 650, ninety million dollars in maintenance funds and public schools of which there are over 3,000, fifty million in maintenance funds.
Wouldn’t it be nice if Tallahassee’s support for education matched their rhetoric? It’s time Florida properly funded education.