Gov. Rick Scott seeks to hold education funding steady
Still trying to convince doubters that he's committed to education, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday night announced his desire to protect public education from budget cuts in the coming year, and to seek increases when possible.
"In our dinner tonight, I told the FEA that as we continue to develop our education agenda we are going to at a minimum sustain current state funding for education in the next budget and depending on the state’s economic outlook, aim to increase education funding where we can improve student outcomes," Scott said in comments after his dinner.
"Our goal is to better prepare students for college and careers and our policies in the next budget and the next legislative session will be designed around that. We look forward to working more with these leaders here today – and all the parents, students, teachers, business community members and other educators throughout the state - in the weeks and months ahead as we finalize our education policy."
His office distributed the statement in an e-mail release.
Scott might have some wiggle room to accomplish his goal, as the state is looking at a small surplus to start the budget cycle rather than the shortfalls it has faced in recent years. But lawmakers have warned that Medicaid could wipe out the surplus, and said they might not be able to entertain any increases, or perhaps even a sustenance budget. And when have lawmakers actually just accepted a governor's budget without question, anyway?