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SPEAKER FEENEY COMMENTS ON CALL FOR SPECIAL SESSION

July 16, 2001
Source: Representative Tom Feeney, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives 

Education Has Received Dramatic Increases Over the Last Three Years

“Representative Frankel and Representative Smith, today, called into question the adequacy of K-12 education funding provided in the State Budget.

I would like to point out that under Governor Bush and the Republican controlled legislature, education funding has increased by approximately $2.23 Billion in three years, the highest three-year increase ever! The last three years the Democrats controlled the House, Senate and Governor’s Office (’91-’94) funding increased by $881.5 Million.

The fact remains that members of the Florida Legislature, including those members who are our critics, dramatically increased funding during the last three years.

What can be called into question, however, is the allocation of those dollars, and how effectively they are reaching our teachers, students and classrooms. The Florida Legislature has funded education at levels that exceed the student growth in Florida, and we only hope that the local, elected school boards use those funds responsibly, and the taxpayers hold them accountable for ensuring a quality education for our children.

It would be irresponsible of the legislature to authorize funding out of a one-time state funding excess for a program that is recurring, especially with predictions of a soft economy next year.

While my friend Representative Frankel is scoring political points for her gubernatorial race, it is unlikely she’ll have to attend a special session which would divert attention from her campaign for higher taxes and bigger government.”