Governor Rick Scott recently stamped his approval to a bill which greatly affected Florida education funding. This move will aid in reducing a surplus in state spending and sets aside money in the budget that can be applied towards funding for education. This approval is a nod and an attempt to support Florida’s educational system and sends a message that education is at the top of the priority list when it comes to the state budget.
Many have applauded the Governor for making such a wise move on the basis that this has provided a 143 million cut out of a 70 million budget whereas, in the past, education was not given priority and suffered from deep cuts and even now will be challenged by its poor record in regards to k-12 and higher education.
Another very wise move on Scott’s part was to select an A school from St. Johns as one of the basis for signing off his approval. This was wise because St. Johns is one of the well-funded and claims the 8th position within the entire state. Scott has since boasted that this would provide over one million dollars in funding for education. Some have voiced that perhaps this announcement was a bit cynical given that this year’s funding per individual pupil comes to around 6.3 k and is slightly more than last year, is really at least $800 less than five years prior.
Not only that but the one million does not even close the gap to the over one billion cut in funding a year ago. It has been suggested that perhaps Scott would have been better off to have selected poor district to prove his point rather than a lucrative district. Also, he failed to mention higher education and went further to endorse and veto a bill that gives three hundred million less to another growing university program. It has truly been a pain to get over the veto but it will come in time.
Some have questioned if, given his choice of highlighting an A school over a less prominent and needy one, says that he is just full of big talk and has more deceptive motives than what he appears.
All in all, the gesture has given him a more positive boost in his reputation having pressed the idea that this would increase spending for education by one billion for the year. He does insist that he regards improvement in Florida’s education system is a high priority and that Florida education funding is extremely important.
By vetoing certain sections of this bill, He did send a message to lawmakers that while he is completely on board with providing for and establishing a budget which allows the educational system in Florida to flourish, he would not support or approve of excess spending and wishes the state to remain frugal in these hard economic times.