Rick Scott misleading Floridians again with education budget
By Roger Caldwell
“In 2011 and 2012 Florida state charter schools received $55 million each year, while 67 public school districts received no state Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) dollars,” says James Call of the Florida Current. When most residents try to understand a state budget they have no idea what the numbers mean. But when a line item indicates Public Education and it goes to a private institution, there is a fundamental accounting error, or a lie.
PECO is a state program that provides funds to school districts from revenue derived from tax collected on gross receipts from the sale of utility services. There are two types of PECO funds for school districts: 1. PECO maintenance dollars, and 2. PECO new construction dollars. Lately, in the news district, superintendents are screaming about funding and now with our governor, we understand where the money is going.
When the state charter schools are allocated $55 million and the public schools get nothing, the public schools are falling apart. Governor Scott from the very beginning had an agenda and he has been pushing for school choice and ignoring the public schools. As the public schools suffer, the national and large charter school owners line their pockets with profits, and claim they can give a better education with less funding per student.
“In 2013, the charter schools received $91 million while school districts split six million dollars with another $14 million going toward special facility construction projects in rural counties,” says Call. This is better than the last two years, but it would appear that the majority of the funding would be allocated to the facilities where the most students would be impacted.
In Florida there are only 350 charter schools, but there are 3,500 public schools in 67 counties. Our governor is always on the wrong side when helping Floridians, because he spends the majority of his time hurting the children and the residents of the state.
His own party has been fighting with our governor with this line item, because they know that it is devastating to the funding for public schools. This line item is hidden in the budget, and very few people are looking for specific line items.
But in 2014, it is extremely crucial to our children’s education, because something that needs to be fixed is left broken. Instead of our children learning a new procedure; it is cheaper to teach the old procedure, be-cause management and teachers cannot afford to teach the new procedure.
Governor Scott and his cronies need to be voted out of office, because they refuse to tell the truth. The public school system in Florida is crumbling in front of our eyes, and the question has always been, “where is the money going?” When our leaders allocate millions of dollars to their friends, that own local and national charter schools, they corrupt and bastardize the system.
In 2014, everyone should pay attention to the educational line-item budget numbers, and how the PECO dollars are spent and allocated. If the charter schools get a larger portion of the PECO funding than the public schools, let our leaders know, it is no way to run a state fairly.