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Gov. Rick Scott has "concerns" with PECO plan

It’s become one of the perennial fights in the Florida Legislature.

In one corner: cash-strapped school systems with aging facilities and billions of dollars tied up in debt service.

In the other: charter schools looking to build and refurbish facilities of their own.

Both want dollars from the Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) trust fund, an ever shrinking pot of money generated by a disappearing tax on cable TV and land-line telephones.

This year, the Senate, House and Gov. Rick Scott all want to split the K-12 portion between charter schools and traditional school districts. It’s a departure from recent years, when only charter schools landed the funds. The wrangling has already begun.

There is some common ground: Both charter schools and school districts support a bill that would shift revenue from an existing tax on commercial energy consumption to the PECO fund.

But the bill may be a tough sell to Scott.

“The governor’s budget prioritizes K-12 education, without creating more debt or permanently earmarking general funds, limiting future flexibility,” Scott spokesman John Tupps said in a a statement. “For these reasons, we have concerns about the proposal.”

Read more here.


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One cannot discuss "debt" in broad general terms in the pejorative. Taking on debt like the Federal government does, just to pay its bills and obligations is stupid, foolish and defeating. The big spenders in this country are to blame - as are the borrow and spenders.

However, taking on tax free muni debt to build school facilities is a good idea, so long as the spend is reasonable. These facilities have a lifespan long past the debt horizon. And the rates are low and usually tax free.

I truly do not understand the Governor's position on this. There is good, well managed debt - and bad debt. Its too bad nobody is distinguishing between the two.

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