Colleges serving Senate President Bill Galvano’s Senate district seemed to fare well this Session. Then Gov. Ron DeSantis’s veto list — and an economically crippling public health crisis — came along.
State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota suffered multiple blows from DeSantis’ veto pen Monday.
DeSantis nixed $5 million for a new Parrish Center. He also cut $3.81 million for a nursing center and $410,000 directed to Manatee Educational Television based at the school.
The Cross College Alliance, which serves SCF, Ringling College of Art & Design, New College of Florida and University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, took a hit for the second year in a row, this time from DeSantis killing $897,500 from the budget.
New College of Florida, spared from consolidation based on Galvano’s intervention, still lost out on quite a bit of funding. A $1.22 million spending item for a Master in Data Science and Analytics program got the ax, as did a $275,000 career and internship program.
DeSantis also wiped away $1,375,000 set aside for Manatee Technical College’s new aviation program.
But education in the region as a whole took hefty blows. DeSantis withheld support for a Summer Learning program in Sarasota County ($800,000.)
The YDash Program ($245,142) and the STEM Career Pathways Pilot program ($550,000) also fell to the veto pen, as did a $1.5 million STEM Education initiative based at Mote Marine Laboratory. A $200,000 abstinence program in Collier County schools also succumbed.
Spending directed to particular campuses across Florida suffered scrutiny as DeSantis slashed a record $1.66 billion from the state budget. That included a number of spending efforts the Governor supported ahead of session.
With a coronavirus crisis threatening state revenues and slicing into reserves, which Galvano outlined in a memo last week, the cuts from the Governor’s Office were especially aggressive.
The Governor did prioritize raising teacher salaries and increasing state worker pay.