As Tallahassee convenes for initial Legislative committee meetings this week, Florida Democrats today released a Pop Education Quiz — 5 questions for members of the Legislature on the Republican's failed policies which have prioritized tax giveaways to corporate special interests instead of funding the public schools and universities that middle class families rely on and are vital to growing our economy.
Local college students will deliver the "Quiz" to both Republican and Democratic members of the Legislature who serve on Education committees this morning — and for those who are stumped (we're looking at you Gov. Scott…), the answers can be found on online below.
Name: __________________ Date: _____________
Education is the pathway to grow FL’s economy for middle class families – but when it comes to funding our schools, Gov. Scott and the GOP controlled Legislature aren’t making the grade.
Republican’s policies are increasing class sizes, forcing teacher layoffs, causing cuts to programs like arts and athletics and making tuition spike for students. But the GOP still managed to find tax dollars for giveaways to corporate special interests that create low-paying jobs.
That’s why Florida Democrats are asking legislators from both parties to take this simple test: the results will have high stakes for the future of our state’s economic growth, and will show middle class Floridians who really cares about fighting for our parents, teachers and students.
1. How many consecutive years has the GOP cut funding for public schools?
ANSWER: B, 5 years. Republicans cut funding for public education for five consecutive years, including cutting $1.3 billion in 2011 alone. “The budget does not make up for five consecutive years of cuts to K-12 spending, including $1.3 billion in cuts Scott approved last year.” [Times Herald, 4/18/12]
2. How much did the GOP slash from higher education during the last session, causing tuition to spike for students?
a. $300 million.
b. $100 million.
c. $200 million.
ANSWER: A, $300 million. In 2012, Republicans cut $300 million for higher education and universities. “The House and Senate have agreed to cut universities by $300 million” [Palm Beach Post, 3/1/2012]
3. Which of the following newspaper headlines are real?
a. Tampa Bay Times: “Legislature’s Reckless, Pork-Barrel Budget.”
b. Naples Daily News: “Bright Futures scholarship cuts squeezing college students as tuition increases.”
c. Orlando Sentinel: “State incentives for lower-wage jobs? Bad idea”
d. All of the above
ANSWER: D, all of the above.
4. The GOP gave $55 million to out of state corporations who want to profit off our children’s education for school construction and maintenance. How much did traditional public schools receive for construction and maintenance last year?
a. $55 million.
c. $100 million.
ANSWER: B, $0. Republicans included 0 dollars for public school construction or repair. "Florida's schools, community colleges and state universities, which anticipate zero construction dollars, will be forced to stop or put off for years many dozens of new projects, including repairs to roofs and air-conditioners” [Sunshine State News, 3/3/2012]
5. How can the Legislature show it’s serious about improving Florida’s education system?
a. Restore the $300 million cut from Universities and colleges.
b. Match tax dollar giveaways to corporate special interests with dollars for schools.
c. Increase funding for Bright Futures Scholarships.
d. All of the above.
ANSWER: D, all of the above.
Working with lobbyists is cheating!