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Scott to propose a $1.2 billion boost for schools

by John Kennedy | January 30th, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday that he is proposing a $1.2 billion increase for Florida’s public schools, a boost that would hike per-pupil spending by about $400.

Scott’s proposal will be unveiled Thursday as part of his 2013-14 budget recommendation to the Legislature. More policy details also will be revealed then, showing more about how Scott found the cash for schools in a year that marks his first where he’s not staring at a budget shortfall.

“My top two priorities are jobs and education, and they are directly connected,” Scott said at the Associated Press’ annual planning meeting at the Florida Capitol.

Education under Scott has rollercoastered the past two years. Within months of his swearing in, Scott signed a budget that slashed public school spending by $1.3 billion — but last year he approved a $1 billion increase.

Scott said he is “doubling down” on the schools investment this year. His overall schools plan will include $480 million that will allow for $2,500 pay raises for Florida teachers and covers the 26,746 additional students who will fill Florida’s classrooms next
year at a cost of $172.9 million.

Scott’s proposal also would outstrip the $70-per-student increase sought by the state’s Board of Education. Scott said his per-pupil funding level will reach $6,800 — edging closer to the state’s record, $7,126 reached during the pre-recession 2006-07 school year.

“Investing in our teachers and our education system is our key to economic growth,” Scott said.

Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale, also speaking at the AP session, said he would welcome the boost for schools. But he mocked Scott for having an “epiphany” on education that was driven largely by concern over his re-election campaign next year.

Smith said Scott’s action showed he was effectively saying, “I was wrong to starve education and starve government so much.”

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23 Responses to “Scott to propose a $1.2 billion boost for schools”

  1. Out with Skeletor Says:

    Ha! Ha!! He must be facing re-election. Add this $$ back and we’ll still be short in comparison to the amount he’s cut from the Education budget since he’s been Governor. He really must think people are stupid. Well, I have to clarify that statement: He thinks MANY people are stupid. Many Floridians voted this clown into office-stupid is as stupid does.

  2. David Says:

    Let’s see if he stops his attacks on higher education. Public schools are important, but without higher ed, what’s the point? In any case, “bribes” to teachers won’t cut it at this point-I’m still going to vote against him. I’d vote for JEB! again over Scott, and I couldn’t stand Gov. Bush!

  3. Dick Scott Says:

    this is great to see the king of Tea Party movement fold. What a fool, desperate for re election. Sorry Rick you are OUT in 2014

  4. no more Says:

    Dang, he still has too long left in his term. I’m almost positive it will be his last!

  5. Snake Oil Says:

    Rick Scott is a SNAKE in the grass. Send the python hunters to the governor’s mansion. (My apologies for defaming all honest reptiles.)

  6. Floriduh Says:

    Somebody should take bets on FCAT results. I would bet a lot of money on better scores in 2014. No particular reason… Oh, it’s an election year? It didn’t even cross my mind.

  7. DDW Says:

    IF it happens and I hope it does, this would be a good starting point for education. But my spidey senses tell me that it will die in the G.O.P. controlled legislature and tricky Ricky can come back and say he tried to make things better and that he was shot down by the bullies across the hall.
    I tend to believe like the rest of the people of the state, that this is just one more bait and switch that the G.O.P. has down to a science.
    The voters of Florida will not be so kind the next go around when it comes to the G.O.P. members who have sold us out every chance they got.
    The 4th. of Nov. 2014,
    is when the mid term elections will be.
    I will VOTE OUT each and every member of the G.O.P. that I can.

  8. toni Says:

    I am (sad to say) a registerd Republican and I too am voting out any Republican on my ballot come 2014. They are corrupt and out for themselves, corporations and the very rich. Scott is now trying to buy votes and he thinks these proposals will get him the teacher’s votes – guess again. Next we will hear he is giving the state employees a raise…he’s a fool. Vote him and his cronies out.

  9. timtopper Says:

    This might actually get through the Republican controlled legislature. They will pull out all the stops to help his re-election.
    I too have been a life-long republican. But once the republican party of Florida embraced Scott, I began to smell a rat. And once the Republican controlled legislature voted to tuen our auto-insurance laws upside down, in 100% favor of the insurance industry, I could see rats.
    I will never, ever, vote to send a Republican to Tallahassee again, and I will work to unseat any repbulican encumbant running.

  10. steve Says:

    Rick Scott is a lame duck Governor
    There is NO way any teacher with 1/2 a brain would fall for his tricks
    He thinks he can buy votes – this should get him impeached
    I am tired of working for less money each and every year
    Might as well call President OBUMMY and ask for one of his handouts

  11. steve Says:

    I meant to say ODUMMY

  12. Aubrey Says:

    Libs, here is a lesson for you. Note that the Governor is submitting a budget. Something that States are required to do. Now, your Harry Reid the so called leader of the U.S. Senate and a Union bought and paid for Socialist is also by law required to submit a budget. He has not for 4 yrs. So, by example Gov Scott is showing how your corrupt beady eyed Socialist should perform his duties. What say you?

  13. Sam Says:

    The predictable Leftist reaction to Gov Scott budgeting for an increase in Education funding (something they also clamor about) tells you all you need to know about their ideology. They are arrogant hard core Pricks. Pricks that you cannot negotiate with, ever satisfy and are intent on weakening America. There is no point in ever trying to met them halfway or partner with them. They always have been, always will be deceptive arrogant obnoxious pasty Bastards who are only concerned about their pitiful political ideology.

  14. Bye Rick Says:

    He knows he will be unemployed at the end of this term, and now he’s trying to do an about face. Too late Rick. We see both of your faces and we don’t want to re-elect either one of them. Take you and all of your GOP buddies with you and shut out the lights when you go. You should have never been Governor in the first place. Perhaps answering all of the questions that you took the 5th over might help, but I doubt it!!


    Just remember that JEB did the same thing when he faced re-election. As I recall, we didn’t get it.

  16. DDW Says:

    @Sam Says,
    As you walk through the rose garden of life, plan on running into the occasional prick.

  17. Jupiter Guy Says:

    It’s interesting that the 1.2 billion he is talking about is the same amount he is stealing from the public workers and supposedly putting into the Florida Retirement System.

  18. Sam Says:

    DDW….just speaking the truth, prick.

  19. Who Says:

    Jupiter Guy…Stealing? How so?

  20. SickNTired Says:

    As long as the repungant party continues to allow the flourishing of FOR PROFIT CHARTER SCHOOLS, this is another ploy to line the pockets of cronies. I’d love to see Rick Scott try to navigate his revamped unemployment compensation program.. oops I meant “Re-employment Assistance” after the voters of Florida FIRE HIM!

  21. Jupiter Guy Says:

    Well Who, when you tell someone that you are going to take 3% of your pay and put into your retirement fund, but then actually put it into the general fund to fill a budget gap, that’s stealing and fraud.

  22. 2014 Says:

    Rick Scott, GOP, 2014! Tick Tock!

  23. Mustafa Says:

    As many of the commenters have already noted, the general consensus seems to be that Rick Scott cannot be trusted (at best), or is a conniving two-faced politican who is only out for himself (at worst).

    Hopefully this sentiment takes him out of office in 2014. But here’s to hoping that we dont replace him with someone just like him (or worse, if thats even possible).

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