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GOP, Will You Please Stay After Class

Gov. Rick Scott and the Rickpublicans aren’t making the grade on education. A new report from Education Week reminds us that the failed education policies of the Florida GOP have moved our state in the wrong direction on the issues that matter to Florida families. Case in point:  Florida dropped out of the top 10 in national education rankings.

The Governor’s latest education solution? Cut $2 billion from medicaid. But this is just the latest in a long series of policy failures from Scott and the Rickpublicans that have damaged our schools, jeopardized Florida’s future and taken our state in the wrong direction:

FACT: Scott and the Rickpublicans gutted education in 2011, resulting in the loss of thousands of teachers

“Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-controlled legislature cut $2.6 billion from schools and health and social services.” [Palm Beach Post, 9/8/11]

“Cuts were expected almost everywhere — except in the area of education, where Scott has said that funding would remain the same. At least, that’s what people thought. Scott’s proposed budget for next year includes billions of dollars in education cuts.” [Herald/Times, “PolitiFact,” 2/8/11]

“With an 8 percent cut in education funding, the new budget will result in the additional loss of thousands of jobs in schools around the state. For instance, Broward County has announced 1,400 teachers will be laid off in the coming year.”[Sun Sentinel 6/6/11]

“Florida ranks as one of the lowest states in the nation in teacher pay. A recent national report showed that average teacher salaries in Florida were 47th among the 50 states and District of Columbia.” [The News-Press 10/2/11]

FACT: If Scott had his way, he would have cut education even MORE

“Scott never mentioned the fact he originally called for a bigger cut to schools than the Legislature ultimately approved. … House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park remarked, ‘The budget we sent him funds education at a higher level than the governor recommended just a few months ago, when he proposed a 10 percent cut.’ Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said ‘Thank goodness we didn’t follow his lead because more teachers would have been laid off.’” [Herald Times 5/26/11]

FACT: Instead of funding education, Scott and the Rickpublicans put corporate special interests ahead of Florida’s children

“Despite all the pressures to cut and save, legislators still set aside about $300 million for tax cuts and business incentives. It was a far cry from the $2.4 billion in tax-and-fee cuts that Scott called for, but legislators made sure to give some tax relief to ensure he didn’t veto the budget. Scott was placated with a $37 million corporate-income tax cut. Scott wanted the tax eliminated.” [Times/Herald, 5/27/11]

“This Legislature handed out more than $300 million in tax cuts in a year where the education budget was slashed. The governor lobbied hard for these tax cuts but didn’t lift a finger to prevent the real harm that will be caused by cuts in education and health and human services.” [Andy Ford Op-Ed, Sun Sentinel, 6/2/11]

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