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School Funding Cuts This Year, Next Year

March 3rd, 2008 by flanews

Lawmakers will decide how to cut more than 300 million dollars from the states education budget. The cuts come while school leaders worry about amendment one taking an additional chunk out of available funds. As Whitney Ray tells us, cuts made before July are just the first wave for schools, and lawmakers will cut even more.

Hear it here: School Funding Cuts This Year, Next Year

The fear of impending budget cuts has Educators across the state tightening their belts.

Were really going have to look at our enrollment numbers for next year and really look at decreasing our overhead, said Leon County High School Assistant Principal Bill Epting.

With foreclosures reaching record highs and people in fear of a recession, many Floridians arent spending, which means no sales tax revenue.

We cant buy groceries like we should. We cant go out and buy clothes like we should, said Josephine Miller who is struggling financial because of mortgage problems.

Lawmakers must slice 542 million from the current budget. Three hundred fifty million dollars will come from public school funding.

Weve been working with the commissioner of education, the school board association and the superintendents association to make sure it doesnt affect the classroom in any great degree, said state senator Stephen Wise.

While millions will be cut by July of this year, Governor Charlie Crist wants to increase education spending by a billion dollars in the 2008 2009 fiscal year. Lawmakers arent so optimistic.

The real problem will probably be next year when teachers, we give the money in a lump sum to the school districts and I suspect the school districts will not have enough money to give the teachers pay raises, said Wise.

The Budget will be a hot issue as the 2008 legislative session begins this week. Despite the Governors recommendations, where money gets cut and who takes the brunt of the blow remains up to legislators. Both educators and lawmakers says theyll do what they can to keep from cutting jobs, and will only look at teaching positions as a last option.

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