Gov. DeSantis vetoes $30M tutoring program at UF

The Governor slashed $900M from the budget.

One of the biggest projects slashed in the budget was a $30 million tutoring program for schoolchildren.

HB 1361 set up the New Worlds Tutoring Program to be administered by University of Florida’s Lastinger Center for Learning.

“The University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning improves the quality of teaching, learning, and childcare. We research, develop, and scale equitable educational innovations for adults and children that put all learners on trajectories for lifelong success,” the organization’s website says.

The tutoring program was intended to help students in kindergarten through grade 5 with their reading and math.

“In addition, the Center may award grants to provide stipends for in-person tutoring during the school day, before and after school, or during a summer program,” HB 1361 bill analysis said. Rep. John Paul Temple, a Republican from Wildwood, sponsored the legislation. It included other initiatives like expanding scholarships for New Worlds Scholarship for prekindergarten students.

“The governor reviews every bill and appropriation that comes across his desk and uses his authority under the Florida Constitution to make veto decisions that are in the best interest of the State of Florida,” DeSantis’ Deputy Press Secretary Julia Friedland said when reached for comment on why the Governor vetoed the program.

Florida Politics reached out to the University of Florida’s media office and Temple for comment Wednesday late afternoon, but did not hear back immediately.

DeSantis vetoed $900 million from the budget Wednesday as he cut spending to about $116.5 billion, or about $1 billion less than the current year.

“Some of the stuff I don’t think was appropriate for state tax dollars. Some of the stuff are things that I support but that we have state programs for,” DeSantis said during a press conference.

Democrats attacked DeSantis’ cuts.

“Once again, Ron has passed a near-record budget that doesn’t come close to meeting the needs of Floridians,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried.

“Among other things, this year’s veto list includes millions of dollars in canceled stormwater projects, school safety improvements, and local infrastructure fixes — things that actually improve our day-to-day lives. Adding insult to injury, Ron waited until late in the day to release the details of his vetoes in a blatant attempt to keep the press from reporting on them today.”

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .

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