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Education will be a critical issue in the Florida Governor’s election

Roger Caldwell1 Education will be a critical issue in the Florida Governor’s election

Roger Caldwell

Education will be a critical issue in the Florida Governor’s election

By Roger Caldwell

      There are about 65 days until the primary and the expected candidates have qualified for the 2014 election. In all probability, the race will be between Governor Rick Scott and Charlie Crist. Once Charlie Crist qualified as a candidate, he sat down with teachers to discuss the topic of education.

Many of the political pundits and experts agree that education is the most explosive and important issue in Florida in 2014. Everyone knows that our governor in his first year in office cut education spending by $1.3 billion. Even though in the last three years Governor Scott has tried to increase the educational budget, there will always be a bad taste in teachers and parents mouth when it comes to the governor and education.

For the first year and a half, Governor Scott was the most disliked governor in the country. Even when the Republican Party held their convention in Tampa, the Republican leadership tried to steer clear of our governor. Finally Scott implemented a positive PR campaign, which has helped his standing and image in the party.

Even though our governor has tried to clean up his image, his educational budget numbers are appalling and embarrassing. Under Rick Scott, the state is spending less per-student than we did when Crist was governor. This year in Florida’s budget Scott says his administration is spending unprecedented amounts in education, but according to the U.S. Census Bureau our state is second to last in per-pupil funding in 2011, and 2012.

It seems that we have caught our governor fabricating the truth and very few parents remember that our governor also cut the number of Bright Futures scholarships in half. This makes it harder for Black and minority children to get a college degree, and get a good job. None of this makes any sense, but our governor thinks he is doing a good job.

Governor Scott is hurting our children’s’ chances for success, and their ability to move forward. Instead of poor African American and Hispanic children moving out of the ghetto, they are trapped in a cycle of despair. Rick Scott only appears to be concerned with his wealthy friends and major corporations in the state.

Instead of improving public education Governor Scott is spending unprecedented funding for charter schools. Many of the owners of these charter schools are large Republican donors, and they are friends of Rick Scott. There appears to be with the Republicans in Florida, a widespread dissatisfaction with the public school system, and their spending reflects that position.

At this point under Rick Scott, the Florida leadership has made the decision to invest in charter schools and not in public education. Public education is the engine that made our educational system the model for the world.

Charlie Crist will need a plan to help the public educational system in Florida excel and return it back to excellence. He must increase the spending per-student, and bring more diversity in the leadership. The candidates will have to decide where they stand on the Common Core Standards, and their educational decisions will decide how many Floridians vote.

 

 

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    About The Author

    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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