Rick Scott on Education
We are changing how we fund higher education but if we want to make higher education more accessible to low and middle-income families, we have to make it more affordable.
Last year, I vetoed a tuition increase that would have taken a total of more than $42 million from Florida families. And, this year, we want to get rid of the 15% annual increase and inflationary increase on tuition.
My commitment to every family dreaming to send their children to college is simple: We will hold the line on tuition.
Parents saving for their children to get a four-year degree from a public university today need to save over $53,000. We shouldn't celebrate how accessible higher education is until we can make it more affordable. That's why I am proud that all of Florida's 4-year state colleges now offer bachelor's degrees for only $10,000.
Florida's education system is making tremendous progress, due in large part to our great teachers and the work begun by Gov. Bush. Our students and teachers were recently ranked 6th for educational quality; and our 4th-graders scored among the highest in the world on a recent reading evaluation. Accountability is working.
The best way we can build on this progress is to reward our hard-working teachers with a $2,500 pay raise. Some say they are afraid that giving raises to all teachers may mean that a teacher doing a bad job gets rewarded. But, thanks to our work, we are now in a better position than ever before to reward good teachers and move bad teachers out of the classroom. We don't want a war on teachers; we want a war on failure.
I am calling for an increase in the number of charter schools--which are public schools that are allowed to work independently of their school board and can innovate in ways that encourage all schools to improve.