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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gelber to Jeb: "Good luck today..."



Gelber Democratic Rep. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach just posted on his blog an open letter to former Gov. Jeb Bush regarding Florida's education spending and policies -- a sharp message that comes about 45 minutes into the big education conference Bush is hosting through his foundation.

"My hope is that your conferees spend more time engaging a critical evaluation of our public education system, and less time declaring successes that are illusory," Gelber writes.

He commends Bush on the national roster of speakers that includes some Democrats and independents, but he notes the featured speakers come from states that spend far more per student on public education.

"Ask New York’s Mayor Bloomberg how New York schools would perform if instead of spending $14,685 per student, they could only spend what Florida spends ($6997 per student)," Gelber writes to Bush. "Ask Keynote Speaker Anthony Williams from Pennsylvania how his school system would perform if rather than spending $11,449 on each student it spent $4500 less. Or ask Keynote Speaker Roy Romer of California’s school system what a $3000 cut per student would mean to the Los Angeles school system which spends that much more than Florida per student."

Lawmakers this session cut $1-billion from public schools as part of their $66-billion state budget for the year beginning July 1.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:24am]


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