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Economists and Teachers alike Say Hold Education Harmless

February 28th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

The Florida Education Association and the United Teachers of Dade issued a white paper today calling on the state to hold education harmless from budget cuts. Schools stand to lose about 350 million dollars from their current budget because of a lagging economy. The paper calls for an end to some sales tax exemptions and taking the steps to being able to collect tax from internet sales. Author Antonio Villamil says schools serve as an economic engine for the state and they are being shortchanged.

United Teachers of Dade President Karen Aronowitz is also calling for lawmakers to stop messing around with the class size amendment. There is discussion about asking voters to change the amendment and allow for overcrowding to be measured at the school rather than the class level. Aronowitz says that would be wrong.

Because we are losing, according to Taxwatch, billions of dollars a year because of lost sales taxes, and putting at a disadvantage, Florida Retailers, Villamil said. Because obviously, people are buying from catalogs and the internet and those taxes are not being collected.

I have high hopes that they will abide by the desire of Floridians who have expressed it through their vote, that they will let this be fully implemented, Aronowitz said. And if we need to talk about other situations, then thats a separate discussion, but just to say everything must go back in, thats the wrong direction to move.

The Taxation and Budget Reform Commission is also considering putting changes to class size on the November ballot.

Posted in Education, State Budget, State News | 1 Comment »

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