Crist's K-12, community college cuts
The public school system should feel little pain if Gov. Crist's proposal to trim the state budget sticks. Sticking to his "hold harmless" mantra, Crist has recommended cutting $120-million from per-pupil spending out of recurring funds, but then to replace the money with nonrecurring revenue - essentially a wash.
"By replacing the recurring General Revenue with non-recurring General Revenue, the State preserves K-12 education funding in the current fiscal year in anticipation of economic recovery. This reduction has no impact on students, school districts, or class size reduction," according to the notes on the governor's spreadsheet.
Crist also has proposed cutting $22-million from the state Voluntary Prekindergarten program, suggesting the new budget amount would more accurately reflect the funding needed for the numbers of 4-year-olds currently enrolled. He would cut community college operating funds by $45-million. And he suggests cutting $14.5-million from the Department of Education expenses such as travel and equipment replacement.
All told, Crist would slash the State Board of Education budget by $161.7-million. He made his $983-million budget reduction proposal the day after House and Senate leaders announced they couldn't figure out how to cut the budget themselves. To download the complete spreadsheet, click here. (Education begins on page 13.)