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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott signs budget at elementary school but offers no details

17

April

Gov. Rick Scott signed the state budget this afternoon during a low-key ceremony at a Jacksonville-area elementary school.

Scott signed the state spending plan surrounded by adoring students at Cunningham Creek Elementary School. In brief remarks, he touted an additional $1 billion for the state's school systems. The infusion of money does not offset last year's cuts of $1.3 billion.

Scott did not immediately reveal his budget vetoes, and instead spent time chatting with the students and explaining the budget process.

Legislators sent Scott a $70 billion budget April 6. Four lawmakers attended Tuesday's brief ceremony — Sens. John Thrasher and Stephen Wise and Reps. Fred Costello and Ronald Renuart.

Scott's budget focus has lately been all about education. In an editorial in the Orlando Sentinel on Tuesday, Scott said "...we mut look over the horizon, by spending the money it takes now to make Florida one of the most attractive labor markets in the nation. We accomplish this by investing in high-quality education, raising education standards and rewarding good teachers and the quality student outcomes they consistently produce."

After he posted the link on his Facebook page, it produced a stream of responses.

Jane Howard of Jupiter wrote: "You should not claim to be "investing in education" when you cut education one year and then the next add back SOME of the cut budget. It's a cut overall. And higher ed has been slashed to bare bones- some campuses closing over the cuts. Shame on you Governor."

Jane Kehoe Szweda said she disagreed.

Sally Beach of Lake City said "more money will not fix the problem with our educational system. I am disappointed that you think more tax money will help."

And Rick Colgan of Orlando said, "But Gov Scott. You're not investing in education. You've made cuts to education. To suggest otherwise is not true."

-- Steve Bousquet and Mary Ellen Klas

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 1:44pm]

    

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