Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Florida's Republicans Holding Education Funding Hostage

Federal economic recovery funds approved by Congress and authorized by President Barack Obama on February 17 will bolster Florida’s schools, provide workforce training and meet other educational needs.

Florida House Democrats believe that these funds can help ease the blow of our state’s financial crisis, bolster our economy and improve Florida’s schools. But when will Florida House Republicans accept Florida’s full and fair share of federal economic recovery funds?

Consider the facts:

· Education Week recently ranked Florida 41st among states in per-capita funding for education.

· Without federal economic stimulus funds, Florida is poised to fall to 2005 levels of classroom funding.

· Florida Per-Student funding (Source: Florida Education Finance Program:

2008-09: $6,860
2007-08: $7,143
2006-07: $6,847
2005-06: $6,154

· Florida’s State University System has suffered at least 10 years of declines in state funding adjusted for inflation (Source: The Miami Herald).

· State funding per university student is at a 20-year low, when adjusted for inflation, according to the Florida Board of Governors (Source: The Miami Herald).

· Florida ranks 49th in education spending for every $1,000 of personal income, according to the U.S. Bureau of Census (Source: Palm Beach Post).

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