Email insights: Gwen Graham blasts ‘devastating cuts to schools’

Gwen Graham

After going into overtime on the 2018 Legislative Session lawmakers passed an $88.7 billion budget Sunday, but Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham said it doesn’t measure up when it comes to school funding.

She lays the blame on the man she’s looking to replace in the governor’s mansion.

Rick Scott‘s first priority as governor was to cut more than $1 billion from public schools — and in 8 years, while the governor and Legislature have spent our tax dollars on their pet projects and special interests, they have failed to fully restore funding for Florida’s schools and students,” Graham said in a Sunday email.

“Adjusted for inflation, per-student funding will be less under Rick Scott’s last budget, than when he took office. He ceded control of public schools to Richard Corcoran and the most extreme members of the Legislature who have siphoned money away from students to line the pockets of the education industry.”

Per-pupil funding was at $6,897 in the 2010-11 budget Graham is citing. That budget was crafted during Gov. Charlie Christ’s tenure and lasted through the first six months of Scott’s first term.

Scott’s first budget had per-pupil funding of $6,217 and subsequent budgets have yet to cross the 2010-11 line when inflation is taken into account, let alone the higher 2007-08 budget which featured per-pupil funding of $7,126.

Graham said if she is elected in the fall that “change is coming.”

“This will be the last Florida budget to underfund public schools. As governor, I will restore our promise to public schools by ending high-stakes testing, ending the degrading system of school grades, and ending the lottery shell game,” she wrote.

“We will restore funding from Rick Scott’s devastating cuts, pay teachers what they deserve, and ensure every child has access to a quality public education.”

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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