Ad Highlights Scott Plakon’s Record of Slashing Funding for Public Schools and Voting To Give Control of Our Schools to Out Of State Corporations Who Profit Off Our Children’s Education
TALLAHASSEE, FL — The Florida Democratic Party today released a new television ad, “Sold,” highlighting Karen Castor Dentel’s commitment to investing in our public schools — in contrast to Scott Plakon’s record of slashing funding and voting to drain millions of our dollars from public schools while also voting to give control of our schools to out of state corporations who are trying to profit off our children’s education. The ad will begin airing on major television stations starting today. Proof and transcript below.
“While Karen Castor Dentel is a public school teacher who has pledged to invest in our schools, Scott Plakon is part of the problem in Tallahassee and has shown he can’t be trusted with our children’s education,” said Scott Arceneaux, Florida Democratic Party Executive Director. “Plakon voted to cut $1.3 billion from our public school system — and even worse, he voted to strip local control away from parents and send our tax dollars to out of state corporations who want to profit off our children’s education. Education is the pathway to grow our economy for middle class families, which is why it’s so disturbing that Plakon has drained millions from our education system, forcing our schools to layoff teachers and cut vital programs like arts and athletics — and Plakon has demonstrated time and again that he’s sold out our schools and is hurting our parents, teachers and students.”
For the past several weeks, Republicans have been “under siege across Florida from Democrats” who have been highlighting the GOP’s reckless and wasteful education policies. On Monday, the Florida Democratic Party announced that it would begin distributing flyers with information about the GOP’s cuts to higher education on college and university campuses across the state, and yesterday Sen. Bob Graham joined with University students to condemn the Republican’s cuts which have caused tuition to spike for students.”
TYPE: 30 Seconds TV
VO: Public school teacher Karen Castor Dentel will invest in our public schools and put middle class families first.
“Standing up For Education,” VoteKaren2012.com. “From shifting money from our public schools to private school vouchers, to overreliance on the FCAT, Tallahassee politicians have made a mess of our schools. Karen is in the classroom Monday through Friday, so she knows what’s not working and how to fix it.”
VO: What about State Representative Scott Plakon? Plakon voted to take control of our schools away from parents and teachers and give it to out of state corporations instead.
Florida Republicans gave $55 million to for-profit Charter schools, while public schools got zero dollars. “School district officials across Florida are bemoaning the Legislature’s decision to cut traditional public schools out of PECO — the Public Education Capital Outlay program. The state’s 350 charter schools will share $55 million, while the approximately 3,000 traditional schools will go without.” [Orlando Sentinel, 7/25/11]
Unlike public schools which are focused on teaching, out of state corporations are focused on profiting off our children’s education. “K12 is an $864 million publicly traded company whose stock price has more than doubled in the last year. In recent years, K12 has increased profits while student performance has suffered, raising questions about whether the for-profit virtual schools provider is making money at the expense of academics. A July 2012 study by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado found that students at K12 schools fell further behind in reading and math scores than pupils in traditional schools. [FCIR, 9/11/12]
In one instance, a for-profit virtual school “used uncertified teachers,” attempted to falsify records and had 275 students per 1 teacher. “The Florida Department of Education has launched an investigation of K12, the nation’s largest online educator, over allegations the company uses uncertified teachers and has asked employees to help cover up the practice. K12 officials asked state-certified teachers to sign class rosters that included students they hadn’t taught, according to documents that are part of the investigation…The documents suggest K12 may be using uncertified teachers in violation of state law;” “A high school teacher working for K12 may have as many as 275 students…” [FCIR, 9/11/12; FCIR, 9/16/12]
“Welcome to the darker side of Florida’s world of charter and virtual schools.” “Welcome to the darker side of Florida’s world of charter and virtual schools. In recent years, state legislators who espouse the virtues of school choice – and private companies who’ve profited from picking off traditional public school students – have reshaped the educational landscape to an unsettling degree.” [Orlando Sentinel, 9/19/12]
See also: “The Facts on Charters, Vouchers and Virtual Schools,” FloridaDems.org
VO: Plakon even voted to cut $1.3 billion from our schools. Scott Plakon sold our kids out.
SB 2000, 2012; Associated Press, 5/7/2011.
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]
In 2012, Republicans failed to restore education funding to the same level following their historic cuts. “The boost from last year does not overcome past budget cuts — $1.3 billion statewide last year alone;” “Scott also brags in the ad that the state put $1 billion more into school funding this year, wholly ignoring the $1.3 billion in cuts to K-12 funding Scott approved the previous year.” [Florida Times Union, 2/28/12; Tampa Bay Times,9/12/12]
Republican budget cuts are forcing schools to layoff teachers and cut programs like arts and athletics. “Critics said it doesn’t cover the $1.3 billion cut they got last year…That has school officials contemplating layoffs and the elimination of such programs as arts and athletics” [AP, 4/17/12. See also: WSVN, 4/27/10; The Ledger, 2/20/11; Ocala Star Banner, 9/19/11; Orlando Sentinel, 5/17/11]
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]
VO: We can trust Karen Castor Dentel to stand with us.