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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

DeSantis says education has plenty of money, and its just wasting what it has.

In a way I agree with DeSantis. There is a lot of money being wasted in education. We are wasting money on charter schools, vouchers and high stakes testing. We spend/waste billions on those corporate reform options. Unfortunately for DeSantis those are the things he supports. 

From The Tampa Times:

Florida’s school leaders have made plain for years their desire for more money to run their districts.
They’ve asked lawmakers for higher per-student funding, and the freedom to spend the money where it’s needed. They’ve requested more construction money, and pushed to keep property tax rates the same so schools can reap the benefit of rising values.
Not so fast, says Ron DeSantis, the Republican candidate for governor.
He suggests the system has plenty of money in it already — unlike Democrat Andrew Gillum, who has backed a corporate tax rate hike to bolster education spending by $1 billion.
It just needs to be spent more wisely, DeSantis suggested, calling for reductions in "bureaucratic waste and administrative inefficiency."
Um reductions in bureaucratic waste and administrative inefficiency sound great don't they? But without specifics they are just phrases people throw out when they don't have ideas. DeSantis also talks about mandating that spending 80 percent of budgets in classrooms but he doesn't detail what that means. I mean does that include lunch and a bus trip to school? Also from the Tampa Times.
 Officials in many districts argue that, depending on the definition of "into the classroom," they’re already approaching that 80 percent mark DeSantis seeks. A huge portion of it comes in the salaries and benefits they pay to people who work with students, although not all of them directly.
Trying to get much higher, they suggested, could be difficult — particularly if the state continues to mandate how they use much of their money.
"If you think about it, we really haven’t had a big increase. And all of the increases we have received are most of our categoricals," said Olga Swinson, the chief financial officer for Pasco schools, referring to state money such as lottery funds that are earmarked for certain expenses.
Swinson, who also chairs the Florida School Finance Council, noted that lawmakers this year directed millions of dollars in new funding toward security and mental health services — neither of which might be considered "classroom" expenses — while increasing the rest of the operating budget by just 47 cents per student.
"I don’t know how you restrict us to 80 percent of the money having to be instructional when we have little control of the money that comes to us," she said. 
Hmm is it beginning to seem like DeSantis has no idea what he is talking about? That he is just dripping out gobbledygook that he thinks sounds good? Well lets add to that and remember he thinks schools have enough money the just waste it, and once again from the Times.
Meanwhile, the Finance Council she heads, which advises education commissioner Pam Stewart, observed in a recent white paper that Florida’s education funding has not kept up with rising costs.
"Average funding would need to be increased an additional $1,120, or 15 percent, to $8,528 per student to offset the estimated impact of inflation as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics," wrote council members Michael Burke of Palm Beach schools and Ron Steiger of Miami-Dade schools.
Complicating matters, the state has forced districts — which in many counties are the largest employers — to reduce their tax rates an average of 18 percent over three years, they noted, while municipalities and local governments did not face the same reductions.
Sigh, everyone knows Florida has starved public education of resources, maybe everyone it seems but DeSantis  or maybe he does know and that's just the way he likes it figuring his base will fall for more gobbledygook meandering. 
If you care about public ed, then the bottom line is you have just one choice and that's Gillum for governor.

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