Politics

Scott Ups the Ante on Education Spending; Oh, Pooh, Responds Crist

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: August 22, 2014 3:55 AM
Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

Gov. Rick Scott announced plans on Thursday to raise education spending to record highs, drawing fire from his leading Democratic opponent.

Scott proposed increasing education spending to more than $19.6 billion, increasing per-student spending to $7,176, which is $232 more than last year. The previous record high was $7,126 from 2007-08 when Charlie Crist, who was then a Republican, was governor.

“I am proud to announce that in the upcoming legislative session we will propose an increase in Florida’s per-pupil spending to the highest level in our state’s history,” Scott said. “We already have the highest total spending in K-12 this year and gave every teacher the opportunity for a pay raise. Because we were able to get Florida’s economy back on track, revenues are now projected to stay at a strong enough rate to support historic investments in education.”

Scott insisted that Florida’s revived economy allowed him to increase education spending.

“Florida job growth, and the overall growth of Florida’s economy has made it possible for us to invest record amounts in education,” said Scott. “The credit for our historic investment in education goes to the hard-working people of Florida who make it all possible.”

Scott also invoked the importance in education to help Americans secure a better life.

“My mom taught me that a good education was the way out of poverty and I want all Floridians to have the opportunity to receive a great education and have their shot at the American dream,” Scott said. “By increasing per-pupil spending to historic levels next year, school districts will have more resources to provide Florida children the best education possible.”

But Crist, who left the GOP in 2010 and joined the Democrats in 2012, dismissed Scott’s proposal as an election-year gimmick. Crist is the favorite in next week’s Democratic primary over former state Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich, despite positioning himself for many years as a conservative Republican.

“I've never waited for an election year to advocate for our schools,” Crist insisted on Thursday.

The Crist team pointed toward an interview he did with WESH 2 News in Orlando at the end of July, in which the former governor said he would fight to increase education spending and hit Scott on the matter.

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Noting Scott had an “almost $3 billion surplus” to work with, Crist said in the WESH interview that he was a better advocate for more education spending.

“I spent more on per-pupil funding than Rick Scott ever has,” Crist said in the interview. “The answer is who really cares about kids and who will make it a priority.”


Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

Comments (8)

OrlandoChris
1:23PM AUG 22ND 2014
Against Common Core? Vote for Adrian Wyllie. I am very pleased that Adrian Wyllie will be a part of the debate. Floridians deserve to hear from all the candidates to be well informed. Adrian Wyllie deserves my vote and yours too. He is a honest average Floridian just as you and I , that is willing to stand up and do something for the interest of all of us here in Florida. The other candidates both Republican and Democrat are owned and controlled by special interest, like puppets and will lie to your face to gain your vote, then continue the same old agenda that we complain about year after year. Time to get off this merry-go-round, election after election, thinking it will be any different. Take a stand, vote for the candidate that loves this state and is willing to take time out of his life, effort and money to SERVE the people of Florida and stop voting for these 'paid for' career politicians that are only out for money and fame and have zero interest in us Floridians. Even if it's just for honesty alone, vote for Adrian Wyllie instead of the other two (Scott/Crist) which are proven liars. The choice is yours and yours alone, if you want the same old corruption and slap in the face, go ahead and vote for one of the two puppets (Scott/Crist) OR do what is right for our (yours and your children's) future and vote for Adrian Wyllie. Support him by donating to his campaign, spreading the word and contribute to the super brochure program which I think is very powerful. Visit his website today.
Decisions are made the Thursday night parties
8:55AM AUG 22ND 2014
Feb. 6, 2014 - Scott Rothstein wrapped up more than 8 1/2 hours on the witness stand Thursday by telling jurors that he is paying for his crimes and that everyone who helped him should own up and do the same. "You see these?" Rothstein said, rattling his handcuffed wrists in the air in front of him. "I'm in prison for 50 years — I will die there."
The defense for Christina Kitterman, an attorney who formerly worked for Rothstein, called the convicted Ponzi schemer who has cooperated extensively with federal prosecutors, to testify as a defense witness for Kitterman in her trial on federal wire fraud charges.
"We never called him to prove the truth of anything he said," Kitterman's defense attorney Valentin Rodriguez Jr. said after court Thursday. "The jury needed to know who he was and who he is today." Rothstein said he hopes that his cooperation with prosecutors — some of which he said involved working undercover and wearing a wire while dealing with armed criminals — will eventually persuade a federal judge to free him sometime before he dies.
But he insisted it wasn't affecting his honesty. His goals, he said, were to return the money he stole from "innocent victims" and to try to make the people who were involved in related crimes take responsibility for what he says they did. "That's the message, that's the takeaway of all this," Rothstein said.
" Kitterman had been in meetings where we were discussing illegal activity," Rothstein said, going on to explain why he chose Kitterman and sent her emails that he said clearly indicated he was involved in criminal acts. "I would never have sent this [email] to someone who was straight-laced and not in the game with me," Rothstein said.
Rothstein said he knew Kitterman could be trusted to commit crimes for him because they routinely "partied" and hung out together at what he called "THURSDAY NIGHT COUNCIL" with Mafia members and associates at Runway 84, a Fort Lauderdale restaurant.
Kitterman has pleaded not guilty to three wire fraud charges, each of which carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison. She is accused of pretending she was a Florida Bar official on a phone conference call with Rothstein and some of his investors. According to the indictment, she posed as Adria Quintela, who at the time was the head of the Bar's Fort Lauderdale office, in a bid to get investors to hand over money to Rothstein.
Rothstein testified that she did not know about his Ponzi scheme but that she knew he was committing crimes and that she would be playing a role to help him out.
Brian Maday
8:20AM AUG 22ND 2014
Hey Rick - It's not the money - it's COMMON CORE! Ya gotta DUMP IT!

Charlie - Quitcher bitchin...
Doris Orvis
11:05AM AUG 22ND 2014
It is not the money you are right, Common Core needs to go and fast! What is wrong with people who just accept this without checking it out, because if they would check it out they would most definitely see the bad in the standards! Why are they allowed to change history, why!? Why are we letting this happen!? If Crist is elected we can hang it up in this state, because that man is a flake. I am so sick of politicians who want people to vote for them only to have what they want to do with their jobs and not in the interest of the people at all!
Scott-Bush and their privatizer friends
8:09AM AUG 22ND 2014
Rick Scott and his hospital schemes(IMC:Columbia/HCA;Tenet Healthcare) partner Jeb Bush do not want to put money into public education in Florida. They want vouchers and grants to move our tax dollars to their for profit charter school friends like Gulen. They make our public schools into trash boxes hoping disgruntled teachers and students will flee to their private school friends. Jeb Bush even tried twice to pass a state law called parent trigger whereby he could use disgruntled parents to force their school boards to turn their public schools over to his charter schools friends. Rick Scott has also been working with Brian Ballard a lobbyist for CCA and The Geo Group to provatize all Florida prisons. All Florida Juvie prisons are privatized now. One called YSI has many child sex abuse by administrators law suits pending. Not one of has ever been criminally prosecuted even when they admitted to taking the boys home with them.
Fire
7:33AM AUG 22ND 2014
Just throwing money at the problem won't help our children.
likeitis
7:13AM AUG 23RD 2014
Exactly. Crist thinks he is going to gain votes by promising to waste more of your money than Scott?
Fire
8:51AM AUG 23RD 2014
That's why we need to vote for Ralph Vester for Florida's next Governor.

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