Read the Facts on Florida Republicans’ Attack on Education and Middle Class Families
TALLAHASSEE, FL — Florida Democrats stood shoulder-to-shoulder today with students to condemn Gov. Rick Scott and the GOP’s continued assault on education and the middle class in the Republicans’ 2012-2013 Budget. Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith was joined in front of the Capitol by students and Florida House members representing universities and communities across the state: Rep. Janet Cruz (Tampa), Rep. Darren Soto (Orlando), Rep. Mark Pafford (West Palm), Rep. Joe Gibbons (Hollywood), Rep. Lori Berman (Delray Beach), Rep. James Waldman (Coconut Creek).
“Rick Scott said he was going to focus on our education system — but sadly he and the Republican legislature seemed to only focus on tearing it down and making education less affordable for Florida’s middle class,” said Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith. “While the GOP has failed to improve education, they have succeeded at what they do best: prioritizing corporate tax breaks, special interest projects and Tea Party extremism ahead of Florida’s families. It’s shameful. It’s wrong. And voters are going to hold them accountable for these faulty priorities that have moved our state in the wrong direction.”
Although Gov. Scott declared that education should be a top priority, the Republican controlled legislature made massive cuts to higher education funding, a move which makes universities increasingly unaffordable for middle class families; increased tuition for college students; failed to restore k-12 funding to levels before the GOP’s 2011 draconian cuts, and appropriated zero dollars for public school construction and repairs, leaving public schools crumbling around our youth.
“These devastating cuts to higher education make it increasingly unaffordable for students like me to attend college,” said Dominique Gelin, President of Florida College Democrats. “It’s clear from their budget that the Republicans don’t stand with students and don’t care about investing in our state’s future economic growth.”