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School Officials Meet To Hash Out Tight Budget

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MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami-Dade Schools is expected to face a bleaker financial year. The district blames Governor Rick Scott’s proposed budget which would slash $3.3 billion from the state’s public education.

“I need to say this. It baffles me,” said Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho during a televised town hall meeting moderated by CBS4’s Michael Williams.

Williams read e-mails sent it from parents watching the town hall from home. One parent asked if lottery dollars could help save education programs.

“The people who think that lottery dollars are coming to improve the spending per kid in the state of Florida, that’s not happening,” said Carvalho.

Another parent wondered if sales taxes should be increased.

“I do not think it’s fair for us to ask our taxpayers to be burdened additionally,” he said.

Carvalho says, if Governor Scott’s budget is approved, Miami-Dade Schools would see a ten percent cut. That’s about $215 million which would affect arts, music, and language programs. The governor argues that such cuts will ultimately lead to more jobs in the state.

“We know what’s going on and we are deeply concerned,” said Estella Gelsomino, a parent with North Beach Elementary’s PTA.

Gelsomino and other parents will travel to Tallahassee soon to ask legislators not to touch school funding.

“I don’t see that they can really expect the state of Florida to flourish and to expect to invite people to move here, if they don’t invest in their education system,” said Deryn Cowdy, a parent with North Beach Elementary’s PTA.

Superintendent Carvalho hopes leaders reconsider the budget.

“Whether it’s on the academic side, or the budget side, I think we have demonstrated we can navigate tough waters. It would be good to get the appropriate wind behind us every once in a while,” said Carvalho.

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