Scott Calls For Draconian Cuts To Education

TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – Florida Governor Rick Scott’s newly unveiled budget for the coming fiscal year saw the newly-elected governor propose almost $5 billion in cuts to the state budget.

But, when it came to which department lost the most money under Governor Scott’s new budget, no agency came close the cuts proposed to education.

According to Scott’s budget proposal, education spending will be slashed by $3.3 billion in the 2011-2012 fiscal year. In addition, a total of 92 positions will be eliminated under the Scott budget.

For comparison sake, the education budget cut is greater than the cuts for every other state agency combined ($3.3 billion vs. $3 billion).

Broward Schools superintendent Jim Notter, like many Florida educators, is giving failing marks to Governor Scott’s first proposed budget.

“When Katrina hit New Orleans, nobody ever thought the levees would break,” Notter said. “I would tell you this superintendent is afraid his levees may break.”

Notter figures the proposed education funding cuts could cost his district up to $300 million.

“You have to cut reading coaches, math coaches, science coaches (in schools),” Notter said. Notter indicated support teams and extracurricular activities would be jeopardized as well.

Scott argues that planned savings in the pension system, also meeting strong objections from teachers and other state workers, would make up any direct shortfall in education funding. He called his budget the first “jobs budget.”

Notter disagrees and said Scott is putting at risk his campaign promise to create 700,000 jobs over seven years.

“Companies are not going to move here,” Notter said. “Companies are not going to expand unless they have a quality education system for their children and a quality education system for their workforce.”

All educational levels would take a hit under Scott’s plan. Overall, per student funding would take a roughly $300 cut, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.

The number of positions eliminated in education are not as bad as many other departments at the state level. The Department of Corrections is set to lose 1,690 positions and the Department of Children and Family Services will lose 1,849 positions.

All total, Governor Scott’s budget calls to eliminate more than 8,500 state jobs in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

But, Scott’s budget proposal is just that, a proposal.

Now, it’s up to state lawmakers to turn those proposals into budget reality, and the battles over priorities have only just begun.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service Of Florida contributed to this report.)

  • Phil Landers

    This should render Floriduh a solid 50th in education nationally.

  • Lori H., Miami

    I didn’t vote for him, all of you who did vote for him, THANKS ALOT!

  • Barry M.

    FloriDUH is right. I can’t believe with all the pork and pet projects of the crooks in this legislature that our future-our children-are on the chopping block like this.

    Well he screwed up HCA when he was CEO, he is a crook from the getgo and like Lori I would like to thank all the FloriDUHans who voted for him. What a ride the next four years will be! Hawaii anyone?

  • tim3500

    I pay 1250.00$ a year for Dade co public schools. I’m almost 60 and have been paying this tax for almost 40 years and never had a kid in public school. That’s called taxation without representation…

    • poppy

      Enjoy the little uneducated punks that will live all around you— they will thieve from you rather than get good paying jobs… good plan gramps.

    • lissymac

      Well, as a household we paid over $60K last year in social security and medicare taxes that you are probably benefiting from or will within the next few years and NONE of which I will live to see a dime of. Education is an investment in the future of this country. You may not leave offspring in this lifetime, but if you are at the very least a patriot, you’d reconsider what you leave or don’t leave behind.

    • JR

      I have paid tax money to pay for the road that you drive on to get out of your neighborhood even though I have never driven on that same road. How unfair is that?
      Idiot= person who thinks the quality of the public education system doesn’t affect their life just because they never had a kid in public school.

  • Albert Millington

    Every body has to share the cost of deficit reduction, why not education? we can do education leaner, smarter, more effective and less expensive. For decades all we had been doing was throwing money at every problem without actually solving anything. Let’s get to work; actually doing something that produces positive results.

    • lissymac

      I agree…the entire system needs to be gutted out and revamped. Education in this country, let alone in this state is one of the worst worldwide. However, cutting 10% of school supplies, books and other resources is not the way to fix the problem. The way to fix it is to get rid of the lying, corrupt commissioners, legislators and other political forces at the helm of the education system that rob the system blind, then when it fails and taxpayers protest about the deficit they have created, the first thing to be cut will not be education.

      Who do you think will end up running this country? We either sink or swim in the next 30 years on a world-wide scale. If these kids today are not given the right tools, resources and support, I hope you learn to speak Chinese and Mandarin well enough to get by.

    • carlos

      Have you every been a teacher? My wife spends over 500 dollars a year buying supplies.

    • Don

      This is what I am talking about, education is suck, why pay something bad for our economic.

      • Timmy B

        You are why……LOL . Hopefully your kids will go to school…..wait…. strike that thought. Hopefully you don’t reproduce.

      • JR

        Apparently other people don’t get your satiric humor :).

  • tony montana

    This idiot Ross is the perfect reason why south Florida needs to become its own state …why should we suffer because the rural idiots and Christian ayatollas of North Florida voted for this man?

  • A Kunze

    To Tim3500: you certainly had “representation” in the legislature and school boards. You may not have had utilization, but you certainly had representation. And Albert: the state can’t run a deficit, so you are really talking about funding challenges, and these have been made much worse over the years by policies like the ones Scott is advocating on an even larger scale.

  • walk like an egyptian

    Dade county public schools budget is so bloated and not a drop of that goes to the actual schools. Double dipping by retirees, school staff that dont have a purpose, and frankly school staff who find parents who want to speak to them an ‘inconvenience’. I have a child in the school system now, and I cant wait till he graduates. I am scared for our future!!!

    • lissymac

      You and me both!

  • LZembuch

    Holy Crap!!! What is this man thinking? I did not vote for Scott and I was sickened when he won. My worst nightmares are coming true. How can this person be stopped? “Let’s get to work” my arse!! He’ll be forcing people out of work and out of the state. FL teachers are some of the lowest paid in the country and he wants to take an additional 5% of their pay so that they can pay for their own pension? I do believe this man wants to privatize all schools and hospitals and make them all “for profit” That way, his good buddies can swoop in and run them as their private businesses. How can we impeach this idiot?

  • handy4sure

    Governor Scott how about imposing tax hikes on Gambling, Baseball and NFL games played at our Florida Stadiums for Educational purposes to get back the money your slashing! The Impact on education as of right now is bad. Can’t understand why you need to cut back more.

  • Jenn

    As a teacher in a charter school, i can honestly say that resources are a significant problem. I agree that people have been gaming the system, and the corruption comes from both sides (ie, unions & politicians).

    I do not have a pension, nor do I receive the benefits that other public school employees receive.

    I am in it to win it for my kids .. and my kids need computers, books, and school supplies.


    Rick Scott needs to put his head back on his neck … right now its definitely somewhere else ….

    • David

      yeah as a teacher in a charter you don’t need a degree to teach. Meanwhile in public school you have to have a degree.

  • Dave Brown

    Politics,Politics…..They all lie from the Left to the Right, you think this is bad just wait till the Healthcare is full blown for all to see what will really happen….NEVER TRUST THE GOVERNMENT FOR ANYTHING?????

  • L

    This Govenor terrifies me…sorta like Bush as President did…and we know how
    that worked out! It’s not about dramatic budget cuts to education…We need to better allocate dollars to educate our children so they can measure up to future challenges empowered by a strong education…We need to attract the best educators and give them the tools to help our kids to learn…We need a Govenor
    with a vision to inspire growth, not an AH with a red pen!!!
    Be careful who you vote for…

  • Susene

    What I heard of Scott was that he was a genius business man. Maybe he’s tackling the problem at hand which is over spending and inflation… which could mean less political fighting. Maybe he’s trying to balance our state’s budget. We can’t pretend any longer that throwing money at a problem will fix it. Good education doesn’t need more supplies, more computers, more colored pencils. Some of the best education I had was in a mobile home with a caulk board, $15 dollars of my money for a few paperbacks and a teacher who LOVED to teach. We can make it work with less. We have too.

    • JR

      A genius business man? I guess figuring out how to defraud Medicare makes you a genius now.

  • Harriett

    Schools should be about education and only educating our children. Cut out all sports, band, cheerleaders and other activities. That would save a lot of money right there. Let teachers teach. Stop standardized testing. Not everyone is college material. Expand vocational and technical trade classes for those who cannot do college level work. Adult vocational classes have waiting lists of people who want to learn a trade. Let the students start learning a trade in high school.

  • Cut State Budget

    The only thing that supports all those state employees is taxes and when the taxes are not there and are diminishing, you have to get rid of what sucks up most of the taxes, bloated State Government.
    Education will manage, kids will learn and thrive no matter what. Even without those cuts Florida is already on the bottom 3 worst education states along with California and Arizona (Also Warm weather states).
    We dont live in Florida because of education, we live here because of the weather. You want education? Then move to Massachusetts, Connecticut or Vermot (I dare you) or Home School your kids if you are so smart.

  • Barry M.

    Ah a new day and the same ol’ same ol’. I tell you this Scott will make this a third world country in 4 years, especially with a Republican supermajority backing him.
    I agree that greedy goverment,business and labor unions have all conspired to create FloriDUH. But it is the kids who suffer, not the people who should suffer. It is always the powerless who pay for the mistakes of the landed elite.
    But to take a state which is already teetering on illiteracy and chop away more, particularly when it is the teachers who will be cut is stupid! Just what we should and can expect from this Tea Party fascist governor.
    One of the posts from a man whose wife spends $500 of her own money on supplies every year says it all! I wonder where Scott got HIS education?

  • Barry M.

    And BTW I have friends in Atlanta who tell me that the tax system there says that you pay education taxes as part of property taxes until age 60> Then they figure your kid has either already graduated or if you are a new arrival, your kid ahs been educated somewhere else. So the seniors somehow do not have to pay education fees out of property taxes after 60.

    Anybody know if this is true and if so, how come Atlanta can get away with it and the braintrust down here cannot?????

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