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Florida Republicans in Washington and Tallahassee Agree: Students And Their Families Are On Their Own

Whether they are in Washington or Tallahassee, Florida Republicans are making it harder for parents and students to afford the cost of University and College. And for the millions of deserving Florida students and their families who are relying on scholarships to afford the escalating cost of higher education, the Florida GOP sent onemessage: you’re on your own to afford the skyrocketing tuition which has spiked because of the Republican’s $300 million cuts to Florida’s University System and their 5-percent tuition increase for college students.


Florida Republicans in Congress Voted for a Plan That Cut Could Pell Grants for 9.6 Million Students. On March 29, 2012, Florida Republicans voted in favor of a spending plan that could cut Pell Grants by more than $1,000 in 2014 for 9.6 million students.  [H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12; OMB, 3/21/12]


Republicans in Tallahassee cut the Bright Futures Scholarship program. “Another measure would cut thousands of students from fa

the Bright Futures scholarships;” “Starting this year, recipients will only receive a certain amount of money per credit hour, and most of their fees won’t be covered. It’s a much smaller award than students received during the first decade of the program.” [Miami Herald, 2/29/12; NPR’s StateImpact, 8/20/12]


Florida Republicans in Congress Voted Against a Plan to Prevent an Increase in Student Loan Interest Rates. House Republicans voted against considering the Stop the Rate Hike Act of 2012. The measure would keep interest rates on need-based student loans at 3.4 percent in 2013, saving borrowers an average of $1,000 in loan repayment costs. Costs for the measure would have been offset by ending tax breaks for Big Oil. [H Res 691, Vote #389, 6/20/12; Congressional Record, p. H3817, 6/20/12]

Naples Daily News: The GOP’s cuts to Bright Futures are “squeezing college students as tuition increases.” “The decreasing coverage provided by Bright Futures means the more than 120,000 Florida students who receive funding from it are making up the difference. And with tuition becoming more and more expensive, some are feeling strained…For Brad Corfias, the lowered amount meant taking fewer courses per semester — and staying in college longer.”

Congressman West Suggested Federal Student Loans Are “Communist.” At a town hall meeting this month, Congressman Allen West said, “You can start dictating where people can go to school, loans that they can get and the payment of those loans. I gotta tell you, that’s something that’s in a book written by Marx and Engels called the Communist Manifesto.” [Dania Beach Town Hall, 6/11/12]

Don Gaetz: funding “isn’t the main issue” when discussing education, no more money for schools. “Incoming Republican Senate President Don Gaetz of Niceville, a former school superintendent and school board member, said funding shouldn’t be the main issue when discussing education anyway, dismissing the central element of the Democratic criticism… The schools budget isn’t likely to go up this year, either, he noted.” [News Service of Florida, 9/13/12]

The Tampa Bay Times wrote that under the Republican’s budget the “Rich get richer.” “House Republicans envision a country where Americans would be increasingly on their own to afford food and medical care even when they are elderly, disabled or poor. It also would be a nation with a tax code that tilts further toward benefiting corporations and the wealthy.…Floridians should be concerned about all these misplaced priorities, but Medicare and Medicaid are particularly at risk…Congressional Republicans want to exacerbate the nation’s yawning income inequality while making life harder for those at the bottom.” [Tampa Bay Times, 3/31/12]

The Tampa Bay Times wrote that Republicans puts corporate special interests over middle class families. “The proposed 2012-13 budget…is a study in pork-barrel spending, reckless policy and a shortchanged future.” [Tampa Bay Times, 3/7/2012]




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