$50,000 for Haitian American history trips up preK-12 budget
After two straight days of late-night meetings, lawmakers were racing to agreement on the preK-12 portion of the state budget. But talks broke off this morning with five issues left for House and Senate budget chairs to resolve this weekend. (More on the other issues in a later post.)
Of note is the Senate's surprise push to include $50,000 for Haitian American history. The budget line item was not part of either chamber's preK-12 budget in previous weeks and showed up during the budget conference process.
That money is taken from a $100,000 allocation for the Task Force on African American history, so the Senate offer is $50,000 for African American history and $50,000 for Haitian American history.
Rep. Gwen Clarke-Reed, D-Deerfield Beach, said the move caught her "really off guard."
"My bone of contention is that there’s legislation that says African American history should be taught and it is not being taught and it’s not been funded," she said. "Here we have an opportunity to fund it and then they decide, you know, to do something else."
Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville, denied the move was a member project, but rather that "some of the members wanted to be able to, if we had African American history, then Haitian American history ought to be included."