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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Andy Ford Speaks out about Govenor Scotts Massive Education Cuts

When Gov. Rick Scott announced his budget proposal in February, the word "education" was notably absent from the political event. And when he did roll out his education budget proposal, it called for slashing already underfunded public schools by more than 10 percent.

The education budget approved by the Legislature did not cut schools as deeply as the governor recommended, but it was almost as irresponsible. Teachers and other school employees will lose their jobs, programs will be drastically cut, and in some places school days shortened and schools closed.

On Thursday, at his political event announcing what items he would veto out of the state budget, the governor made a big show of saying he was putting money back in the schools budget. That would be a laughable statement if it were not so frustrating. It is meaningless to suggest putting the money back into education, since it would require the unlikely occurrence of another session and a new appropriations bill. It was a politically expedient message for a governor with plummeting poll numbers but a cruel suggestion for school employees who face layoffs and furloughs, and for schoolchildren who attend Florida's inadequately funded schools.

This Legislature handed out more than $300 million in tax cuts in a year when education was slashed. The governor lobbied hard for these tax cuts, but didn't lift a finger to prevent the real harm that will be caused by cuts in education and health and human services. His sudden interested in education at a campaign-style event won't mask the reality of his priorities.

President, Florida Education Association


  1. A serious problem that everyone in education seems to conveniently forget is that the union is a massive problem for education. The union is not a friend of the city taxpayer - we feel as though it is a burden and Terry Brady is an obnoxious, loud, unreasonable individual. She does not have the expertise nor the experience in budgets. All she wants a piece of the taxpayer revenues for teachers. This group has not had to see a year go by without a raise - however small. The union is a disease and will suck as much blood out as long as this administration bends over and allows it. Not unlike Corrine Brown, when Bill Clinton said when we see Corrine coming, we just say yes. A sad, but true fact.

    Currently, Duval County is on a mission to change the perception of the citizenry they have of the school system. Until the Super and board takes a long hard look at inside operations - from administration to the schools and work on that (morale) and the negative, mediocre culture that has exacerbated for decades - NOTHING will ever change. You cannot respect a business unless the business operates in a sound fiscal and responsible manner. The turnover rates of teachers is high and continues to be so.

  2. Unions do much to protect education, unlike the Republican governor and legislators who are doing everything they can think of to cut public education. Now the legislature has decided that huge numbers of classes are not "core" and should not be covered by the class size limits. Many of those classes are ones I cannot imagine taking in large groups. teacher tenure protects good teachers from arbitrary dismissal. Poor teachers do not usually survive the years to get to tenure and, even then, can be dismissed. Now there are no rules, edministrators can dismiss anyone who dares to fight for the kids.