Getting closer to the bone
We've heard lawmakers for some time say the education budget cuts they're making are really reductions of increases, and not actual cuts. Well, even lawmakers sounded bleak as they approved cuts Monday to this year's budget and predicted worse for the next fiscal year, which they'll begin preparing soon.
They used words like "dismal" and talked about cutting close to the bone as they slashed $358-million.
House Schools and Learning Council chairman Joe Pickens said districts probably would have to lay off teachers if not for the class-size amendment, the Palm Beach Post reports.
State and district leaders predicted measures such as scaling back electives and sports, and even things like increasing the thermostat setting. Duval's superintendent told the Florida Times-Union that "nothing will be exempt." Leon County is considering cutting health assistants, which parents are fighting, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. Hiring is frozen in Alachua, the Gainesville Sun reports.
How bad can it get? "We haven't cut the bone at all," Senate school appropriations chair Stephen Wise told the Herald-Tribune. "Now it's going to get tough." Can you stomach more? Check stories here from CBS 4-Miami and here from the AP.