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Reality Check: Rick Scott and the Florida GOP's Education Record

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Today, Rick Scott, true to form, attempted to mislead Floridians yet again about his record on public education.

Here are the facts:

Over the last four years, as parents, students, and teachers know all too well, Rick Scott and Tallahassee Republicans have lurched from one disastrous education failure to another.

No matter how many times he says it, Rick Scott’s education funding has still not reached 2007-2008 levels, and the Republican legislature has done nothing to rectify that problem. With a $1 billion surplus, there is simply no excuse.

In his first term, Scott suggested cutting $4.8 billion from education over two years. He proposed a $3.3 billion cut in his first budget, and managed to get a $1.3 billion cut passed with the help of House and Senate Republicans. 

When it comes to education promises, teachers and students have learned that Scott’s word means very little. In 2013, Scott promised a $2,500 raise to teachers but many saw only a fraction of that money. In 2011, Rick Scott signed into law a bill punishing teachers that made high-stakes testing even more central in Florida’s schools — something he now claims to be against. Additionally, his promised $10,000 college degree never came to fruition.

The Tampa Bay Times was right when they wrote that Scott “deserves an F on public education.” The Republican Party of Florida has done their best to dismantle public education, all the while offering misleading rhetoric to the contrary. As we saw today, nothing has changed.