« Democrats to Scott, Bondi: Stop fighting against marriage equality | Main | After $300K campaign, SkyRise polling 'very positive' »

Education spending continues to dominate gubernatorial race


Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist released a new TV ad on Friday, accusing Republican Gov. Rick Scott of lying to a constituent about his education record.

"We thought it really important to remind Floridians that you cannot trust Rick Scott about public education," said former state Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, speaking for the Crist campaign. "You cannot trust him to care about your school children or to fund your schools properly."

The ad will debut in Orlando this weekend, campaign spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said.

It was the latest strike in the war over education funding.

Last week, Crist toured the state in a yellow school bus, reminding Floridians that Scott cut $1.3 billion from the state education budget in 2011.

The Scott campaign responded Thursday with a plan to pump millions of dollars into public schools and boost per-student spending to historic levels. (Democrats point out that the $7176 figure Scott proposed still lags the high watermark set in 2007-08 when you account for inflation.) 

Crist unveiled his latest ad on Friday morning.

The Scott campaign said Crist, a former Republican governor, was suffering from "education amnesia."

"While Rick Scott has funded education at record total levels –- and is proposing record per-pupil funding next year –- Charlie Crist left schools in worse shape, with his last budget giving each student $550 less than his first budget," campaign spokesman Greg Blair said. "And when Crist was in office, Florida Democrats said his cuts to education were 'harmful.' We give Crist an 'F' in both math and history."



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Highly paid Republican operative

$100,000,000 can not be beat!


Just because Rick Scott says it’s not true does not mean it’s not true.

It is true.

“There are various ways to add up the total cuts in K-12. Crist uses the $1.3 billion figure that includes the cut in state and state-required local dollars, but the largest chunk was due to the expiration of the stimulus funds. The state also cut $300 million from universities during Scott’s second legislative session.

We should note that much of K-12 education funding was restored, though it’s still below pre-recession levels. And the Legislature restored the cut to universities the next year.

The bottom line, though, is that Crist chose his words carefully, and those cuts did happen during the years he mentioned. We rate his statement Mostly True.”


[deliberate run-on sentence alert]

I don’t know why Scott just can’t say “I chose to cut education funding by $1.3 billion because even though I easily could have spread the cuts amongst every department in the Florida budget (because, really, $1.3 billion isn’t that much out of an approx. $65.9 billion budget), I preferred, amongst other priorities, to give tax breaks to big businesses and also I didn’t care about education funding until I realized that, dang, I’m up for re-election, and I have a really weak campaign so I’d better look like I care about education by suddenly deciding to increase education funding and also try to paint my opponent as an anti-education governor but crikey, I can’t do that because I hadn’t gotten the education funding levels back to what they were before I became governor, so, crap, I guess I’ll just spend $1 million or whatever it takes to call him a liar, and expect that the Florida voters will be so stupid they will just believe me because I said it over and over and over”.


Anyone who believes Scott will increase spending for public schools is naive. The Republicans may raise per student spending, but they will cut in other areas. It may be in capital dollars, textbooks, technology, and diversion of funds to private charter schools, but you can be SURE that they will make cuts. Also, the Republicans are ending the A+ program, which will decrease money to teachers and schools.

A Facebook User

The curious and ironic fact is that no matter how much money was pumped into public education, the achievement gap between Anglos, Hispanics and Blacks remained and still do, along with the corruption and ineptitude. I've been working as a volunteer in ed reform since 1990, and have documented the abuses.

Look up the State Grand Jury Report on Broward Schools, wherein the GJ recommended that the School Board be abolished and the state take over. The corruption was that bad.

Voters drop off after the major races; that's been the pattern for years as well. So a select few elect the school boards and, in districts where it applies,

Simply screaming about cutting education funding is disingenuous, but too many politicians are exactly that by definition.

The salaries paid to administrators on all levels, K-higher ed are over the top. The underpaid teachers and professors are apparently represented by ineffective and corrupted unions.

If voters don't start to pay attention to the details of education funding and spending, it'll never change.

Keith Stegath

Facebook User, until We the People decide that we've had enough of the Corporate Candidates, education and countless other problems will get worse.

Our state and our nation are sinking while the Corporate Candidates smile knowing their overlords will protect them.

There is another choice. www.fla-gov.org

The comments to this entry are closed.