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Week in Review: FL Dems Blast GOP on Education

Florida Democrats continued to put Republicans “under siege across Florida” for their assault on our higher education system and their wrong priorities which are hurting our parents, teachers and students. FL Dems have been hammering the GOP for their support of a voucher scheme that drains millions of dollars from our public education system and sends our tax dollars to out of state corporations that want to profit off our children’s education — and this week state legislative candidates from across Florida joined with Sen. Bob Graham, FDP Chair Smith and students to condemn the GOP’s cuts to higher education which is causing tuition to spike for middle class families. Clips below: 

Democrats launch new ad slamming Plakon on school cuts  [Orlando Sentinel] “Continuing to hammer away at the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature’s public-school cuts, the Florida Democratic Party today launched a new ad slamming Republican state Rep. Scott Plakon for voting to cut money for public schools and make it easier for charter school operators to take over poorly rated schools.”

Public-school cuts weigh on Republicans in state races [Orlando Sentinel] “The GOP legislators who passed that budget at Scott’s urging are under siege across Florida from Democrats who accuse them of slashing pre-K-12 funding and sacrificing traditional public schools in favor of alternatives such as charter and private schools.”

Democrats putting education “front and center” in legislative campaigns [Palm Beach Post] “Florida’s ruling Republicans are undermining their own pledge to boost the state’s economy by shifting millions of dollars away from public education, former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham and state Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith said Wednesday. Flanked by a dozen university students, Graham and Smith expanded on what has become a steady campaign theme this fall for Democrats in state House and Senate races across the state.”

Fla. Dems Attack Republicans For Tuition Hikes, Higher Ed Budget Cuts [WFSU] “The Florida Democrats have been attacking Republicans for cuts to higher education and tuition increases. And as Lynn Hatter reports Wednesday Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith and former Governor Bob Graham raised the issue alongside university students. The Republican-led legislature cut $300 million dollars from the state’s public university system this year and tuition rates have been climbing. Democrats say the state’s decision to cut higher education funding shows a lack of support for the state’s schools.” 

Dems Make Education a Campaign Issue [Capitol News Service] “The Florida Democrats are calling Republicans on the carpet for cuts made to education.”

Former Governor Bob Graham wants Florida to put an emphasis on higher education [ABC Tallahassee] “Graham stood with college students Wednesday and blasted Republican state leaders for passing $300 million in budget for higher education this year and raising tuition.  He called the cuts an assault on education threatening Florida’s future economy.”

Dems look to make issue of higher ed cuts [News Service of Florida] “At a news conference Wednesday in Tallahassee, former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, who also served as governor, joined Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith and a group of university students to blast a $300 million cut in the current year’s budget for the state’s 12 universities. Legislative leaders have said the cut is a one-time reduction…Within moments of the press conference’s conclusion, several legislative candidates had issued press releases figuratively standing with Graham as Democrats look to narrow the GOP’s supermajorities in the state House and Senate. The party is planning to distribute flyers calling attention to the $300 million cuts and hope to highlight their effects on escalating tuition rates.” 

Graham raps GOP for Florida higher education cuts [AP] “Democratic former Gov. Bob Graham is blaming higher Florida college and university tuition and increased student debt on Republican budget cuts.” 

Graham and Democrats rally college students [Florida Current] “The party chairman said education funding, particularly college costs, deserves “to be front and center” in voters’ minds when they mark their ballots this fall. The Democrats brought about two-dozen college students to their news conference, to personify the problem. Graham asked them how many will be leaving college with student loans to repay, and every hand went up.” 

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