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Educators Worried About More Budget Cuts

November 15th, 2007 by flanews

Florida’s money problems are getting worse.  Economists predict that the state will collect $1 billion dollars less than previously expected between now and next July.  Lawmakers already cut $1.1 billion from the budget in a special session last month and will have to slash again.  As Mike Vasilinda tells us, schools worry that a new round of budget cuts could hit them hard.

Hear it here: Educators Worried About More Budget Cuts

Voters are being asked in January to cut $12 billion from property taxes while being promised schools won’t be hurt. But the vote will come just as the state may be forced to dip into its savings account or cut the state budget for the second time this year.  Wayne Blanton with the Florida School Boards Association says lawmakers need to find another revenue source, or else.

“I don’t see the legislature or the public willing to take larger class sizes and teachers not getting any pay raises and overcrowded classrooms again,” Blanton said.  “I don’t see that happening.  But those are some of the consequences that could come about.”

The gambling deal with the Seminole tribe plugs just a small amount of the budget hole. 

“There’s no question that the additional revenue is needed and will be able to fund some of the programs, fully fund, some of the programs that have been cut,” said Rep. Curtis Richardson, a Tallahassee Democrat.

But Governor Charlie Crist believes the January vote is a key to jump-starting the housing market.

“It’s a challenging time,” Gov. Crist said.  “But so long as we maintain education dollars to the classroom for the children, everything will work out.”

Whether lawmakers wait until regular session to cut the budget again, or have another special session, or dip into the state savings account, has yet to be decided.

Florida sales tax collections have been down for 12 straight months.

Posted in Amendments, Charlie Crist, Education, Property Taxes, State Budget, State News | 4 Comments »

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