Fact Check: Rick Scott's Education Budget is "Historic" ... An Historic Disappointment
Rick Scott claims his Education Budget is "historic." He's right: it's an historic disappointment.
Rick Scott has no interest in providing a high-quality education to our children. Instead, Rick Scott is intent on starving our public schools of funding and would rather enrich his friends and campaign donors by steering public funds to private, for-profit charter schools.
Rick Scott claims he's making an "historic" investment in education, but we know better than to take him at his word:
- Even Fellow Republican, House Speaker Will Weatherford, Says "We Can Do Better," When It Comes To Education Funding. (Tampa Bay Times, 2/4/14)
- Educators are wary. "Educators cast doubt on the “record” and “historic” terms Scott used by saying school districts likely will still be worse off than they were before the state cut funding in 2008." (Florida Times Union, 1/27/14)
- Politifact Headline: Half True: Rick Scott Says His K-12 Education Budget Proposal Is Highest In Florida's History. " ... If we take the total spending for 2007-08 -- $18.75 billion -- and adjust for inflation, that would equal $20.29 billion in 2013, which is still higher than Scott’s recommendation for total spending of $18.8 billion.” (Politifact, 1/27/14)
- Tampa Bay Times Headline: Much Of Scott's Proposed Education Spending Boost Would Come From Property Taxes. “Two-thirds of the overall increase would be funded by property taxes…. Only about $167 million of the proposed boost would come from state funding.” (Tampa Bay Times, 1/29/14)
- Orlando Sentinel Headline: Orange School Leaders Say Gov. Scott's Budget Isn't As Generous As It Seems. “When you look at the overall actual dollars we are receiving in total [under the governor’s plan] it approximates what all of public education was receiving in 2007, but there are a lot more students now.” – Rick Collins, Orange County Public Schools' Chief Financial Officer (Orlando Sentinel, 1/29/14)
- Tampa Bay Times Editorial Headline: A Budget Of Politics Over Policy. “Nearly 70 percent of the $542 million increase comes from additional local property tax revenue generated by rising property values — yet Scott brags about avoiding tax increases.... The governor would spend more construction money on privately run charter schools than on traditional public schools.... The state's 12 public universities can expect to continue to be pinched…. Scott's budget recommendation is just that, and the Legislature is free to write a budget that better addresses Florida's pressing needs. Don't count on it.” (Tampa Bay Times, 1/29/14)
- Miami Herald Headline: Change To Bright Futures Scholarships Hits Poor, Minorities. "The total number of college freshmen receiving Bright Futures at state universities would drop from 30,954 to 15,711 — a decrease of about 50 percent. Minority students would drop even more, with Hispanic recipients decreasing by more than 60 percent, and black scholarship recipients plummeting by more than 75 percent." (Miami Herald, 4/6/13)