JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Education Advocates were up in arms today after Governor Rick Scott released his budget proposal.
Colleen Wood, the Executive Director of Save Duval Schools, questioned his message. "He said we have to do this for our children and our grandchildren. But my question is: Whose children is this for?"
In Duval County alone, Wood estimated 90 million dollars will be cut from the public school budget to make up for Governor Rick Scott's proposed budget cuts. "It's important as a community that we decide what our priorities are," Wood said.
Though Governor Scott contends cutting taxes is priority number one. "We can't spend more than we take in, we can't," he said.
His budget proposal contained more than four billion dollars in budget cuts, one-point-four of that being property taxes, which largely fund public school education.
And while taking less money out of resident's pocketbooks is bound to be a popular proposal, education advocates argue it's an investment. "We strongly believe good public education is a job builder. It shouldn't be looked at as a tax burden, and I think right now, we're looking at it the wrong way," Wood said.
Wood contends that the Governor's cuts would take teachers out of the classrooms, and harm children in the long run, but the Governor insists the cuts are worth it. "It's a budget designed to reduce state spending, lower taxes, and hold your government accountable," Scott said.
Reaction was mixed from the legislature today, but all sides indicated this will be an ongoing conversation.
Florida State Senator John Thrasher released this statement on the budget: "I commend the Governor's fiscally conservative efforts to do more with less, all without taxes. I look forward to working with Governor Scott and my colleagues in the Florida State Senate to attract new jobs to Florida and reinvigorate our state's economy."