More Cash for Schools in Florida?

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

Governor Rick Scott got out his veto pen on Thursday…

“Today I’m exercising that authority to remove an additional 615 million dollars,” Scott said.

Scott suggested the savings go to education.

So far, the Governor’s call to put the vetoed money into schools is falling on deaf ears. But even if it wasn’t, it’s not that easy to do.

Through the magic of state budgeting, key lawmakers say the real total available to schools is less than 150 million. Florida’s teachers union is also questioning Scott’s motives.

“For the governor to, who never mentioned education in his first proposal, who didn’t do anything to lobby for education, for him to now come out and say something that would require a special session, is a little disingenuous,” Florida Education Association spokesperson Mark Pudlow said.

The Governor was indifferent when we asked about the cold shoulder his idea was getting.

“We can all agree that it’s more important to put money into education than a horse barn,” Scott said.

And school superintendents say they are not counting on any additional cash.

“We’ve got our budget,” Sen. Bill Montford, with the Florida Association of School Superintendents said. “We know what we’ve been cut. School superintendents and school board members throughout Florida are making those tough decisions, and you’ll see a lot of people laid off throughout Florida in the school districts.”

When Scott Proposed his budget, he called for a 10 percent cut to schools. Lawmakers settled on 7.9 percent.

In his weekly radio address, Scott called the items he vetoed “short-term, frivolous spending”, even though some of the items included money to fix leaking roofs in university buildings.

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