With a teacher raise tour, Scott seeks payoffby John Kennedy | May 13th, 2013
At five schools in as many Florida counties, Gov. Rick Scott stumped the state last week praising teachers and the $2,500 raises he pushed lawmakers to include for them in the $74.5 billion budget.
But strategists say it’s far less certain whether the Republican governor will be able to cash in politically on the raises in his re-election bid next year.
Despite making teacher pay his top priority of the legislative session, Scott, like every Republican governor before him, appears unlikely to break the Democratic Party’s powerful bond with the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union.
“Nobody knows what he’s thinking with this strategy,” said FEA President Andy Ford. “It’s clearly all about 2014 and the governor’s race. Teachers welcome the raises. But that doesn’t buy forgiveness.”
Scott may be seeking to make some strides with women, middle-aged voters and independents. But his strategy isn’t moving the needle with teachers — even some self-identified Republicans.
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