Dems: welcome to education concern, governor, but seems fishy

Leaders of the House and Senate Democrats both said Wednesday that they’re glad Gov. Rick Scott wants to boost spending on education and pay for teachers, but said it seems opportunistic and a bit fishy.

“I think it’s great to give teachers the raise … but when you look at what we’ve done … it’s not a net gain for teachers, because of what he’s done in the past,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale after Scott proposed a $1.2 billion increase in education funding to go with an earlier proposal to boost teacher pay. “…. It’s not really putting them ahead.”

So why do they think Scott’s doing it?

“To have this sudden epiphany to me, reeks of – election year’s coming,” Smith said.

House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston of Plantation  said House Democrats will likely support Scott’s teacher pay proposal, but noted that Scott signed a budget two years ago that cut education spending.

“We don’t think you become the education governor when you cut $1.3 billion,” Thurston said. “Education is something you do consistently.”

The News Service of Florida