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FACT CHECK: Rick Scott Lies to Make His Case On Education

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In a hastily produced response ad, the Republican Party of Florida showed just how desperate they are to cover up Rick Scott’s record of failing Florida’s students. Clearly, Charlie Crist’s lead with voters on this key issue scares the Scott campaign — and Rick Scott has to lie because the truth is that Charlie Crist invested more per student than Rick Scott did in every single year of his term when you account for inflation

CLAIM: Charlie Crist cut education by $1.4 billion.

REALITY: Charlie Crist put education first every year as governor, investing in education and reaching record per-student funding for public schools. Rick Scott’s campaign is just making up numbers. As the Orlando Sentinel reported, “Crist pushed the Legislature to accept about $1.7 billion in federal stimulus dollars to soften the blow to schools his last two years in office."

CLAIM: Charlie Crist laid off 3,000 teachers.

REALITY: Charlie Crist saved the jobs of 20,000 teachers, which Rick Scott says he would not have done. Politifact debunked this lie in June, saying the claim omits key points. "The number was derived from media reports about possible layoffs, not all were actual layoffs.” 

  

Background

Crist Prioritized Education, Investing and Accepting Stimulus Dollars. “In his first legislative session, Crist secured a $1.2 billion funding increase for public schools that boosted per-pupil spending by 6.7 percent.… Now Republican Party of Florida ads are blasting Crist for cutting ‘state education by nearly $1.4 billion.’…Crist pushed the Legislature to accept about $1.7 billion in federal stimulus dollars to soften the blow to schools his last two years in office. Adding the stimulus dollars for both years, the cut to classroom spending on Crist's watch was about $524 million.” [Orlando Sentinel, 7/12/14] 

PolitiFact: "The number was derived from media reports about possible layoffs, not all were actual layoffs…We rate this claim Mostly False". The number was derived from media reports about possible layoffs, not all were actual layoffs. Also, Crist accepted federal stimulus money that preserved thousands of teacher jobs…and no single politician is responsible for that economic meltdown. Clearly, some teachers were laid off statewide, but the ad lacks evidence that it amounted to 3,000 positions. We rate this claim Mostly False.” [Politifact, 6/26/14]