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Lawmakers Ask Schools to Tighten Their Belts or Else

January 8th, 2009 by flanews

As lawmakers took the first steps to cut the state budget late this afternoon, schools are facing the biggest blow from the budget ax. Lawmakers are looking at chopping a half a billion dollars from education. As Whitney Ray tells us, now teachers salaries are in jeopardy as lawmakers look at mandatory pay cuts for schools with money issues.

Hear it Here: Lawmakers Ask Schools to Tighten Their Belts or Else

Laura Bania is a first year English teacher. She fears spending cuts could cost her, her job.

I know Im the first on the chopping block and its very intimidating but at the same time I just have to be happy that I do have a job, said Bania.

But even if Bania avoids layoffs, her salary could still be at risk. Lawmakers are looking at mandatory pay cuts for employees in districts having financial trouble.

Lets give the commissioner of education the opportunity to go in there and fix the problem and if necessary reduce everyones salary so no one loses their jobs, said Republican Senator Mike Fasano.

The President of the Florida Education Association is crying foul.

Actually, I dont think thats constitutional what they did, said FEA President Andy Ford.

A recent study shows nine out of 10 Floridians oppose the idea. With public schools facing a half a billion dollars in cuts public outcry is reaching all the way to the governors office. Parents and students are getting involved sending letters to Governor Charlie Crist asking him to keep education off the chopping block.

A high school senior wrote the governor after her school ran out art supplies. Others are asking for electives like music and cooking classes be saved. The Florida Education Association wants lawmakers to pass a temporary penny sales tax increase to avoid further school spending cuts.

Posted in Children, Education, State Budget, State News, Taxes | 4 Comments »

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