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Bush Still Playing Games with Education Budget.
 

By:  Steve Schale

 


Published: February 2, 2006
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If the Legislature implements the Bush budget as proposed, public education spending as a percentage of general revenue will fall to the lowest level in ages.

In the budget he proposed today, education spending will make up some $14 billion out of a $27.9 billion general revenue budget---or just barely 50.1% of all undedicated tax revenues. Further, the raw amount of GR dedicated to the Florida Education Finance Programs line-item is just $6 million more than what the legislature approved in the 2005-2006 state budget.

This proposal continues the trend that started when Governor took office of annually reducing the percentage of GR spending dedicated to public education. If education simply received the share of GR (55.4%) that was dedicated to it in 1999, the total education budget from general revenue would be more than $15.4 billion--- more than enough to reduce class sizes and increase teacher quality and pay.

Education’s reduced priority in the state budget is a salient part of the debate. It seems counterintuitive to give the Republicans credit for increasing education spending, when in fact they are actually reducing educations share of state tax revenues and claiming that we can no longer afford the types of investments that would create a world class system of neighborhood schools.

 


 

Steve Schale is the Political Director for the Florida Democratic Party, House Victory, and is a near lifelong resident of North Florida. He has worked on more than two dozen federal and state elections since 1996.