As the state enters the 2014 legislative session with a cash surplus, Governor Scott is calling for tax cuts. Will public education be among the beneficiaries?
March 4, 2014 Contact: Mark Pudlow 850.201.3223 or 850.508.9756
TALLAHASSEE – Florida Education Association (FEA) President Andy Ford issued this statement Tuesday in response to Gov. Rick Scott’s State of the State address before the Legislature:
“The governor touts a historic education budget, but our per-pupil spending is not yet back to where it was when he took office. He’s happy to promote 24 tax breaks during his term of office and seek $500 million more this year, yet most Floridians haven’t seen tax relief; they’ve seen a state government that pushes its obligations on local government while easing the obligation of corporations. His budget proposal is totally inadequate to meet the needs of our state, particularly in bolstering all aspects of public education. The governor acknowledges the effectiveness of our public school teachers, yet he won’t listen to those teachers when they tell him his approach to testing and evaluations is all wrong.
“Rather than tax breaks for wealthy corporations, why not spend more on our students in struggling schools? How about providing a living wage to our school bus drivers, food service workers, custodians and other education staff professionals in our schools? Why not move the salaries of our public school teachers up from 47th in the nation?
“Today’s speech amplifies the fact that the governor is pursuing the wrong priorities for Florida.”
The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with more than 140,000 members. FEA represents pre K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational staff professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees.