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Education Cuts Coming

January 13th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Florida lawmakers are poised to cut nearly half a billion dollars from state schools. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, Florida teachers and others are crying foul.

Hear it Here: Education Cuts Coming

The state’s biggest school district will lose 47 million. The smallest, about 150 thousand. Most are losing millions. The cuts represent a loss of a hundred forty dollars per student.

The Presidents of both Florida’s teachers union and the national union met briefly with the governor. And had taxes on their lips on the way in.”

“When you’re talking about revenue, you can’t cut your way out of this budget crisis that we’re in,” Florida Education Association president Andy Ford said.

Earlier in the day, Charlie Crist went from a definite no on increased cigarette taxes to
“not as yet.”

After the meeting with the union presidents, the Governor says he’s still hoping to avoid a tax hike.

“What we want to do is see what comes out of Washington and that may make it so it isn’t necessary to do those kinds of things,” Crist said.

Nation teacher’s union president Randi Weingarten says while federal money may make a difference, Florida needs a stable tax base.

“We can’t have cuts on the backs of kids. The economic downturn was not their fault,” Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said.

The governor is now sending a strong suggestion that he’ll veto an 11 million dollar cut to the National Merit teacher program.

Meanwhile, Florida teachers have started running a tv spot, depicting a politician asking kids what they’ve done for him lately.

Florida lawmakers will approve the cuts Wednesday.

Since 2007, Florida schools have trimmed over 8 hundred million from their budgets.

Compare the 2007-08 Budget and current cuts here. See pages 8 and 10 of this pdf psffepssa2009

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