Governor Rick Scott rolls out his budget proposal for the coming year, $74.2 billion and the largest in Florida's history. On Wednesday, Scott announced the budget would include a billion dollar increase for education.
In Thursday's visit by Northwest Florida's Delegation, they praised the Governor for his commitment to education, but say an infinite amount of money won't solve the school systems' problems.
"Pouring more money into the education democracy doesn't necessarily guarantee that we get the specific curricular projects and programs that parents want." Senate President Don Gaetz (R) says.
Scott's budget does indeed increase education funding in the Sunshine State by 1 billion over last year, but the number remains below recession levels. Lawmakers like Senator Gaetz and Democratic Minority Whip Bill Montford plan to tackle several issues like pay increases for teachers and teacher evaluations.
However, helping students to become employed is a higher priority. "We intend to focus on education funding that prepares students that can actually compete in a real economy because their education gives them job skills." Gaetz says.
"We could have unlimited funding but it's going to be very difficult for school districts to meet the requirements that we put on the plate for them." Montford adds.
During last year's presidential debates, Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama acknowledged that we need to get our graduates back to work. About 50% of kids coming out of school can't get a job, and that's something both of these senators plan to work on.