Many of our schools are plagued with inadequate state funding; overcrowded classrooms, low student achievement; low graduation rates; lack of oversight and financial/program accountability for charter schools; inadequate certification and low compensation for teachers. At the college level, rising tuition rates, excessive student loan debt and job placement issues are also of major concern and must be addressed through increased funding and monitoring of loan practices.
Instead of increasing state funding for public education to meet the needs of our children, it continues to be drastically cut. Academic success for our children depends upon Florida making a stable financial investment in education.
Florida’s 2015 – 2016 per pupil expenditure is about $7,128 per student. The national average is $12,509 per student. Today, Florida ranks 29th among the 50 states. It has a grade of C.” Therefore, I pledge to work to ensure that our bipartisan legislation complies with the 1973 Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) to ensure that educational programs and services are “adequately funded and fairly allocated” to meet the growing needs of all Florida children. I will also work hard to increase the average per pupil expenditure and move Florida up in national ranking.