Crist in 2007 on class-size changes: "It's time to move on"
Oh what a difference three years can make. Gov. Charlie Crist said today he supports a move to put the class-size amendment back before voters for modification. In fact, he said he was calling for legislation to do just that. But back in 2007 - when the economy was humming and the state was relatively flush with cash - the then new governor was singing a different tune.
The following is from a February 2007 interview with The Gradebook that hasn't been published until now. (It came, interestingly enough, after he visited Bay Vista Fundamental Elementary School - which is where he made today's announcement.)
Gradebook: Is the class size amendment a waste of money? Shouldn't we be continuing, even though it's not popular, to find a way to make it flexible?
Crist: Clearly it's expensive. There's no question about it. But I have a foundation about policy that's important to me. And the foundation is, first and foremost, is that what the people, is it what the people want? It's clear to me this is now constitutional amendment, so I've got to listen to my boss, and the people are my boss, and they put it in this Constitution. I took an oath when I got sworn in as governor that I would uphold that Constitution. I don't even have a choice.
Gradebook: So there's no wiggle room at all? If anybody tries to come up with another proposal to mitigate class size somehow with another amendment, you're not for it?
Crist: I'm not for it, no. And I'll tell you why. I think, you know, the people have spoken. We need to honor what they have said. Now, if some other group without my input puts something on the ballot and the people change their mind? Boss has the right to change their mind. But I'm not pushing it. I think it's time to move on.