Posts Tagged ‘ECommerce’

Florida Education Faces Huge Budget Cuts in 2008

March 28th, 2022

In the 2008 legislative session, the Florida state legislature must cut nearly one billion dollars from its operating budget. The recommendation from Governor Charlie Crist and the legislative committees is to cut from education. The main question left seems to be “how much can the schools afford to lose?” Unfortunately, despite the promises made during the Amendment 1 campaign that a tax cut would not affect Florida students, education is almost guaranteed to take one of the biggest financial losses this year.

Florida has no income tax, so public revenue is generated almost exclusively from sales taxes and property taxes. 2007 brought a slow-down in tourism and a sharp decline in property values. To top things off, voters in November passed a ballot provision that reduces the rate of property tax liability for owners. The total loss in revenue from last year is currently projected at more than $869 million. Since the state constitution forbids deficit spending, this lost funding has to be made up with spending cuts.

Charlie Crist’s recommended budget calls for a cut from education of about $182 million. When the legislative session opened in early March, the budget committees recommended even more – $357 million or close to 1.5%. While the governor has no problem slashing school accounts, his same budget proposal asks for $330 million in new funding for prisons and corrections – almost twice the amount that he wants to take from the schools.

While nothing has been finalized, the suggestions have been to hold teacher pay steady & eliminate bonuses, cut back on the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship (by lowering scholarships for students in majors with lower demand and job growth), and scaling back resource classes like art, music, and computers. As it is, Florida schools rank poorly in national comparisons and losing access creative and technical instruction isn’t going to prepare students for college or the increasingly high-tech and competitive job market.