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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Florida's economy tops 1 trillion dollars. Why the lousy commitment to education?

If Florida was a country it would have the 17th biggest economy in the world. It's worth over a trillion dollars. So the question is, why does the state have such a hard time investing in education? One word, republicans.

The republicans have been in charge of the state government for over 20 years and before you lavish praise on them for the state passing the one trillion milestone, I would argue we would be doing much better if we would have taken the federal money to build the super train from Orlando to Tampa and if we would have taken the medicare expansion. For no reason I can tell but spite, Tallahassee turned it's back on billions and billions of dollars which would have provided jobs and services to Florida's citizens but I digress.

Since republicans have been in charge, the state's teachers when cost of living is factored in, are the lowest paid in the nation and we are routinely at the bottom of per pupil spending and investing in education. Instead of investing in our public schools, Tallahassee has siphoned billions to charters of which 360 have opened and closed leaving neighborhoods in a lurch and of those that remain most are for profit, lack any real innovation and are in neighborhoods that don't need them, and voucher schools which have practically no over site.    

This year when face with the underfunded school security mandate, districts begged the legislature to call a special session to address the short fall and Tallahassee's response was to put out several misleading videos.  

From the Ledger
Florida’s economy has topped $1 trillion, meaning that if Florida was its own nation, it would have the 17th-largest economy in the world.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that’s bigger than Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and the Netherlands.
The Florida Chamber Foundation in a release said the state is adding about $2.74 billion to the state’s gross domestic product each day.
The chamber has launched the “Florida 2030” initiative to address problem areas in the economy, such as the achievement gap in schools and the poverty rate.
Despite hitting the $1 trillion mark, there’s still room to grow. Wage growth has long been pointed to by economists as an area Florida’s economy — and the national economy — need to address to continue growing.
Who wants to bet the chamber's ideas will be about punishing teachers and not investing in education?
Friends, I get it, nobody likes taxes, but how about huge breaks to republican donors and crony capitalism because Florida is rampant with them?
How about wasting money on charters and vouchers? Do you like that?
It's time we invested in education, past time. 

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