Florida’s students at all levels are feeling the crunch with education spending levels down and worse performance on standardized tests. When Governor Rick Scott took office, he proposed nearly $3.3 billion in cuts to education (Bousquet & McGrory, 2014). Spending money on education is significant for teacher development, added resources to students, and facility improvements that are necessary to ensure students’ success. Florida’s educational system is changing at all levels; therefore, I have provided some insight and recommendations on improvements that need to take place.
Jobs are scarce for people without higher education levels. Positions that required a high school diploma have shifted to crave a bachelor’s degree. In order to prepare children for the future, education must be a priority in every state. According to the American College Test (ACT), Florida students averaged 19.6 out of 36 which is lower than the national average of 21. Furthermore, the testing administrator says “only 19% of Florida students tested as college ready, compared to about a quarter of students nationally (Benk, 2013).” Florida taxpayers pay the burden when children go to college unprepared in need of remedial classes. Student loans are more prevalent to pay for these classes, but the extra burden of taking remedial classes also affects them in the long-run.
Governor Rick Scott noticed that significant decreases in education funding hurt both students and teachers. So over the past two years Governor Scott has increased funding by about $2 billion, still well under his $3.3 billion cut to schools in his first year. Performance funding measures have been set by the state of Florida’s higher education system in an attempt to increase efficiency. Instead of being compared to other public universities, the University of Florida and Florida State University would have their own separate standards and “be eligible for double the money” (Mitchell, 2014). The Governor Scott’s new plan allows two premier state schools to compete for the most money while other universities that are not of the same caliber will compete against each other for less funding.
Tuition and fees for Florida’s schools increased dramatically; however, the overall cost of attendance is still below the national average. The average cost of in-state tuition nationally was $8,800 a year, while Florida’s was closer to $6,000 a year (Rutland, 2014). Schools are cheaper in the Sunshine state, but Governor Scott wants to stop tuition increases in order to make schools more affordable for middle-class families. Furthermore, the Governor also wants universities to stop increasing their tuition to make up for lost revenues from lack of funding.
Governor Scott has been sidetracked from the main issues in education. Some of the policies that have been introduced can and will be problematic in the future. In order to increase the opportunities for lower and middle class students funding should not be...