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    Florida voters put class size limits into the constitution in 2002. As Matt Galka tells us, a bill passed by the Florida House would give schools a break for exceeding the class size numbers, but opponents say that’s not what voters wanted. A little more than a decade ago, Florida voters put caps on class […]
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    One lawmaker likened legislation making major changes in the body that regulates high school sports in Florida to hitting a donkey on the head with a 2 x 4. The House Education committee today passed legislation requiring a complete shakeup of the governing organization, reorganizing its board and membership, allowing students to attend any school. […]
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  • Hillsborough County Comes to the Capitol 1, March25, 2015
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  • Cut My Taxes 1, March24, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott is facing some opposition to his plan to cut 673 million dollars in taxes this year., so he kicked off what he is calling his “Cut My Taxes Week”  with a booth in the state Capitol. Even the Governor is adding to the confusion with a TV spot in which he says […]
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  • Confederate Vets Excluded from Hall of Fame…for now 1, March24, 2015
    5 people were inducted into the Veterans Hall of Fame today, but controversy continues to swirl around three who were nominated but not chosen because they served in the Confederate army. The law as written says they must have served in the US Military. One of them was David Lang’s great grandfather, who went on […]
    Mike Vasilinda

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School Administrators Seek Help From Lawmakers

December 16th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

State House members are in Tallahassee today and tomorrow looking at ways to cut more than 2 billion dollars from the state budget. As one of the largest items, schools face some of the largest cuts, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, school officials from around the state are at the Capitol pleading for mercy.

Hear it Here: School Administrators Seek Help From Lawmakers

Florida spends 140 million dollars a year recognizing A and B schools. The schools use the money for everything from ice cream socials to clowns and fairs. But in tight budget times like these, CFO Alex Sink says the non mission critical budget items need to go.

If we get down to making a decision, or the legislature has to make a decision between cutting teachers out of the classroom or continuing to fund a program thats not mission critical, I know where I would make the choice, Sink said.

The call for reexamining the budget comes as school officials from around the state are walking Capitol hallways looking for relief. Miami Dades Superintendent told state house members firing people could actually make economic conditions worse.

If we begin downsizing by the thousands, and thats what a 100 million dollar or 200 million dollar reduction will result in, these people will go on welfare and these people will not find jobs in the current economy, Miami Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said.

One school official here working the hallways commented only partially in jest that what the state budget really needs is CPR.

State Education commissioner Eric Smith is warning school boards to brace for the worst.

Further cuts are going to be very difficult to manage at the district level, at the community college level, Smith said.

Legislative committee meetings on the cuts are just beginning. The tough decisions begin when lawmakers come back in early January.

One idea to offset school cuts is to allow local districts to use tax money earmarked for construction in the classroom, at least temporarily.

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