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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Budget blahs



To say Florida's bleak budget has educators across the state worried would short-change the situation at hand. There were so many stories in today's papers about the issue that we've separated them out into a separate post for your consideration.

First, there came news from Tallahassee that some lawmakers want to further cut property taxes beyond the levels set by Amendment 1. The Florida Education Association, which opposed Amendment 1, quickly questioned the move, as the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Meanwhile, several school districts and universities continued to work to make ends meet, by whatever means possible. Florida Atlantic University talked about turning away 2,000 students and cutting $16.8-million in spending if the state's financial picture doesn't improve, the Sun-Sentinel reports. Florida A&M launched a recruiting drive in an effort to boost its budget, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

The Collier school district scheduled a hearing to consider altering its high school scheduling such that the district could cut 84 teaching positions as part of its belt tightening measures, the Naples Daily News reports. And Volusia officials are talking about closing seven schools and transferring the 2,000 students to other campuses to save some cash, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Even the editorial board of some papers are getting in on the issue, offering some suggestions of their own.  Florida Today editorializes, for instance, that the Brevard school district should rethink its chain of command as current administrators retire, to perhaps cut back expenses in tight budget times.

Because using fund raising to offset the state budget shortfalls, often a consideration especially at universities, isn't - and probably never will be - enough to make up for state budget shortfalls, as the Miami Herald reports.

If you think this is Florida's problem alone, well, just think again. As the LA Times reports, one California district already has voted to close a school and another has sent pink slips to hundreds as Gov. Schwarzenegger plans to cut nearly $5-billion from education over two years.

To which we say, Florida's legislative session begins in March. Good luck.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:35am]


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