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Rick Scott’s Latest Education Gimmick: Surprise! Lower Funding for Florida’s Kids

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In a surprise election-year gimmick today, Rick Scott announced new increases in Florida’s education funding. Playing politics with Florida’s education budget, Rick Scott is falsely claiming — yet again — that he is investing in our kids. But Floridians have learned not to trust this governor, and they won’t be fooled. Here’s why:

FACT: In the four years before Rick Scott became governor, per-student school funding never fell below $6,846 in 2009. That’s $7,605 in 2014 dollars, more than $400 dollars over Rick Scott’s latest election-year gimmick. 

FACT: In the four years before Scott became governor, per-student school funding reached a high-water mark of 7,126 in 2007. That’s $8,191 in 2014 dollars, or more than $1,015 over Rick Scott’s political ploy. 

Check the math yourself: get the figures from the Department of Education here and use the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Inflation Calculator to get 2014 dollar amounts.

“The scariest words for Florida’s education system are, ‘I’m Rick Scott and I want to help',” said FDP Chair Allison Tant. “The truth is, Rick Scott cut $1.3 billion from Florida’s education system in his first year. Every year since then, he has failed to bring school funding back up to where it was under Charlie Crist. Rick Scott is willing to say or do anything his pollsters say will win votes — even play election-year games with Florida’s education budget. Rick Scott just doesn’t care about Florida’s public schools; he cares about winning, so he can keep enriching his special interest allies."

Background:

Rick Scott Proposes 2015-16 School Funding. "The Governor’s proposal would equate to a total of over $19.6 billion, which means $7,176 per student.” (Governor’s Office Press Release, 8/21/14)

"When you account for inflation, though, Crist’s per-pupil spending outpaces Scott’s for every year." (PolitiFact, 7/18/14)