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Local School Leaders Appalled at Governor's Budget

10:47 PM, May 7, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- State lawmakers worked overtime overnight to finally settle on a state budget at $69.7 billion dollars. It has more than $4 billion in cuts.

The budget eliminates a number of programs and slashes pay hikes for state workers.

It also means an already struggling Education system will have to tighten its belt even more.

 

 

 

School board member WC Gentry said, "Now everything is on the line," saying that more than Duval sports are in danger.

"We need to bring our education system into the 21st century," said Governor Rick Scott to First Coast News Anchor Shannon Ogden on Saturday morning in a live interview.

"We kept state funding the same. What happened is the federal funding out the stimulus went up and then went down," said Scott. "Every school system has to figure out what their community needs. Every school system, every parent, with more competition, there is a lot more choices on how the dollars will be spent."  

For Duval, school officials said the deficit will range from $80 to $95 million dollars.

"Our children are not widgets. This is not a business. Education is something different," said Colleen Wood with Save Duval Schools.

She tried to rally parents to call 10 lawmakers in the 10 days before the budget passed.

"I think its pretty tragic for our schools and I don't think the results will be seen right away, but next year," said Wood. 

Gentry said, "It is worse than what we expected. It is worse than the worse case scenario." 

However, Governor Scott maintains the cuts will add up and positively impact students.

"This is very important what is going to happen in education. Its going to 100-percent benefit for these kids," said Scott. 

School board members in Duval will hold a workshop on Tuesday morning to work out this estimated 8% budget cut from the state.

The schools will need to decide by the middle of this summer what to cut. 

First Coast News

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