Fla. House Dem Deputy Whip votes against education priority

As Florida Gov. Rick Scott wrapped up his Teacher Pay Raise Pep Rally Tour, the Republican Party of Florida released the following report:

On National Teacher Appreciation Week, Governor Scott Visits Elementary School In Rep. Janet Cruz’ District Today To Celebrate Teacher Pay Raises.

“Gov. Rick Scott … [has] scheduled a ‘Teacher Pay Raise Pep Rally Tour’ this week to celebrate lawmakers’ decision to put $480 million into teacher salaries – one of his two key goals for the two-month session. Scott will visit … Alexander Elementary in Tampa on Friday.”

(Jeffrey S. Solochek, “Time To Celebrate Florida Teacher Raises?” The Tampa Bay Times, 5/6/13)

FLASHBACK TO MARCH 5, 2013:

CRUZ TWEETS THAT EDUCATION IS AMONG HER TOP PRIORITIES

Rep Janet Cruz tweet

(Rep. Janet Cruz, Twitter Account, 3/5/13)

FAST-FORWARD TO MAY 3, 2013:

SO WHY DID CRUZ VOTE AGAINST HER TOP PRIORITY?

Rep. Janet Cruz (D) Voted “NO” On SB 1500, Budget That Included Record Education Investments. (Floor Vote, Bill Number: 1500, Florida House of Representatives, 5/3/13)

Public Schools Are “Winners” In Governor Scott’s Budget With $1.2 Billion Increase In Investment. “At this point, the winners far outnumber the losers in Scott’s proposal: The winners … Public schools: The K-12 system would receive a $1.2 billion increase that includes a $2,500 pay raise for teachers and a $412 increase in per-student funding. He also would give teachers up to $250 a year to buy supplies and would provide $100 million for technology improvements” (Lloyd Dunkelberger, “The Winners And Losers In Scott’s Budget Plan,”  The Gainesville Sun, 1/31/13)

Florida Teacher Union President Praises Gov. Rick Scott For Teacher Pay Raises. “FEA thanks Governor Scott for his efforts to provide an immediate across-the-board pay increase to Florida’s classroom teachers in recognition of their demonstrated performance which has brought Florida’s education system to sixth in the nation.  FEA applauds the infusion of additional resources into public education as was proposed by the Governor.”

(Press Release, “Governor Rick Scott And Florida Teachers Applaud $480 Million To Give Every Teacher A Pay Raise,” Gov. Rick Scott, 4/28/13)

WHY DID CRUZ VOTE AGAINST REWARDING HIGH ACHIEVING EDUCATORS?

Florida Teachers Ranked 4th In Nation, Schools Ranked 6th In Nation By Education Week Report Card. (“Quality Counts 2013: Code Conduct – State Report Cards,” Education Week, 1/10/13)

“Florida Ranked No. 1 In Teacher Quality.” “Florida teachers earned an overall grade of B – the highest in the nation – on the National Council on Teacher Quality’s 2011 State Teacher Policy Yearbook. This year’s biennial report measures Florida’s progress against a set of 36 policy goals focused on helping states put in place a comprehensive framework in support of preparing, retaining and rewarding effective teachers.” (“Florida Ranked No. 1 In Teacher Quality,” Orlando Business Journal, 1/27/12)

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