The Budget Conference met this weekend and by 9:20 pm Sunday evening, discussions hit a wall over everything but shaving their meager per pupil funding increase from 2% to 1% to be funded from general revenue, not another property tax increase as Governor Scott proposed. This is an election year rejection of a craven pattern of forcing taxpayers to fund projects that are the state’s responsibility while offering billions in corporate welfare to private corporations. Unfortunately, it’s not translating to better funding for public schools.
Take action today. 1% to public education is unacceptable.
The current proposed per pupil funding amount of $7,178 is only $35 more than the final 2007/08 calculation of $7,142.79. That’s less than $4 per year for the past nine years. None of this accounts for over 200,000 additional students since 2007.
This is pure election year politics at the expense of our children. Legislators are spinning this pitiful 1% increase as generous, when it is not. Senate talking points claim a $74 increase over last year, which is true. Sen. Gaetz and those reporting this figure completely miss the point. Any budget figure must be compared to the well-documented 2007/08 per pupil funding high, anything else is dishonest.
A review of spending on a range of education related items since 2007 reveals a miserly, even stingy funding for ESE, which has gone from over $1 billion in 2007 to $900 million today. Transportation was $480 million in 2007 and is $430 million today. The list of such examples is proof of Florida’s disrespect toward public education.
Tell Gov. Scott and Budget Conference leaders to do their job. A 1% increase is a disgrace.
Article IX, section 1 of the Florida Constitution states
(a) The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools…
Use your voice today. Our children are watching.
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