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Schools Prepare For Budget Cuts

January 12th, 2009 by flanews

On Wednesday, state Lawmakers will be voting to cut a half a billion dollars in education spending. The cuts will leave schools with 140 dollars less per student. As Whitney Ray tells us, many schools will have to reduce or eliminate elective classes, like art and music, to make ends meet.

Hear it Here: Schools Prepare For Budget Cuts

Math and economics are the new hot topics in Floridas public schools. Principals are even getting out their calculators after the latest budget news.

Lawmakers agreed to cut education spending by $140 dollars per student. A final vote will be taken Friday. The principal at Leon High School with 2,000 students doesnt like the equation.

Times our student population, thats a little over a quarter of million dollars and the average teachers salary is a little over $50,000 so thats about five teachers, said Principal Rocky Hanna.

Administrators say everything, including teaching positions, will be on the table to avoid bankruptcy. The Florida School Board Association says electives will be the first to go.

Art and music are in jeopardy if someone doesnt come up with some dollars to help us out, said Wayne Blanton, with the Florida School Board Association.

Some help could come from the governor, who has to sign off on the budget deal.

The reductions I recommended were less than what we are looking at, and Im going to look close at them. Thank goodness because of the Florida Constitution, I have the opportunity to tweak some of these things, said Governor Charlie Crist.

But educators say tweaking the current budget isnt enough. Theyre asking legislators to pass new taxes in March to generate more education dollars. Lawmakers will take another look at raising the cigarette tax in March. Another idea floating around Tallahassee: temporarily adding a dime to the state gas tax to fund schools.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Children, Education, Legislature, State Budget, State News, Taxes | No Comments »

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