The Democratic and Republican candidates for governor on Tuesday launched competing plans to improve Florida’s schools.
In a news conference in Tallahassee, Democrat Andrew Gillum defended his proposal, first announced in January, to provide a minimum $50,000 starting salary for teachers by increasing the state corporate-income tax by $1 billion.
Republican Ron DeSantis released a detailed education plan, including a measure that would require 80 percent of school funding to be spent in classrooms and not on administration. He said the plan could help boost teacher pay.
Republicans have been criticizing Gillum’s plan to increase the corporate-income tax rate from 5.5 percent to 7.75 percent to raise $1 billion for schools, providing money for teacher pay and early-education programs.
Gillum, the Tallahassee mayor, said only the largest corporations pay the tax because of exemptions, estimating his proposal would impact about 3 percent of the companies doing business in the state. He said the increase would be offset by more than $6 billion in reduced taxes the corporations are paying because of the recent cut in the federal corporate tax.
“I will not allow them to get away with miss-describing what it is that we are proposing. We are simply saying that we’ve got to invest in our next generation,” Gillum said. “I want this state to be measured by the investment we make in kids, not into as many tax breaks as we can manage, but in our children. And I believe these are reasoned approaches.”
Gillum called it “an embarrassing indictment” of the state that Florida teacher pay ranks 45th among the states and that salaries are $12,000 below the national average.
He dismissed arguments that raising the corporate income tax would result in higher costs for consumers if companies passed on the tab through higher prices for goods and services. He noted the corporate tax rate was higher in Georgia, at 6 percent, yet “the 99-cent menu is the same in both our states.”
“I don’t buy that argument. It’s a red herring,” Gillum said.
But Republicans slammed the tax plan.
“No matter how he tries to spin this, raising $1 billion in taxes would be a disaster for hardworking Florida families,” said Meredith Beatrice, a spokeswoman for the Florida Republican Party. “Gillum wants to hand over control to the teachers’ unions and put special interests and bureaucrats ahead of students.”
Meanwhile, DeSantis, a former congressman from Ponte Vedra Beach, released his plan calling for 80 percent of education funding to be spent in classrooms. His campaign policy statement said it would “cut bureaucratic waste and administrative inefficiency and ensure that money is being spent where it matters most.”
After touring the Okaloosa STEMM Academy in Valparaiso on Tuesday, DeSantis said his plan could boost pay for teachers.
“As we’re moving away from bureaucracy and putting more of the percentage of money we spend into the classroom, to me, the primary beneficiary is going to be the teachers,” he told reporters.
DeSantis said he also wants to revamp teacher bonus programs and make them “more reflective of what you’re doing in the classroom.” He said he would support changing the current “Best and Brightest” program that has awarded bonuses based on teachers’ SAT and ACT college-entrance scores.
DeSantis also called for a review of curriculum standards now used in schools and said he wants to work on a provision that would require “constitutional principles” be taught as part of civics education.
He also said he would support a constitutional amendment imposing term limits on local school board members.
DeSantis’ “80 percent” plan is similar to a measure advanced in the Florida House more than decade ago, with lawmakers setting the classroom percentage at 65 percent. But the proposal failed in the Senate, in part, because of the difficulty of identifying funds spent inside or outside the classrooms.
“Aside from the fact that the scheme flies in face of local control of schools, it is a political gimmick that other states have tried and abandoned,” Joanne McCall, president of Florida Education Association, the major teachers’ union, said in a statement.
McCall said DeSantis’ overall education plan provides “no large-scale proposals that would make it easier for districts to hire and keep qualified teachers and education staff professionals.”
In a clear difference with Gillum, DeSantis also said he would work to expand education “choice” programs, including the use of corporate tax credits that sent more than 108,000 students to private schools in the last year.
DeSantis credited the voucher-like programs for Florida’s recent success in national testing measures, including the National Assessment of Education Progress, and for its rising high school graduation rate.
Gillum vowed to end “the voucherizing of the education system” that began under former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush.
“We’ve got to begin to bring that to conclusion,” Gillum said. “It’s been 20 years of the underfunding, the defunding of the public (school) system, which still educates over 90 percent of our kids.”
—Lloyd Dunkleberger, News Service of Florida, and FLA News.
Mr. Gillum your doing a great job, keep it up. Trump is no long backing DeSantis it was on the news this morning. Maybe, Trump will back you now, just joking of course. Trump claims to be a Republican but I feel his party is the Trump party and only the Trump party.
Higher taxes by another democrat,
All talk no results
Socialism has no place on America.
This Gillum has lost his mind!! Money doesn’t fall from the sky. From where and how does he intend to get the money for this empty promise? We can’t afford Gillum as our next Florida Governor. By the way what is the outcome of the ethics complaint Gollum faces? I bet it’s being held up till after the election, even though the commission has been sitting on it for over a year. Our legislators need to abolish the useless ethics commission that has no one holding them accountable. We just feed the ethics commission staff tax dollars year after year. When they didn’t remove Revels and only fined her thousands of dollars for using her position for her associates personal gain I lost all faith in them.
Check your facts. Trump has not publicly stated that he has dropped support of DeSantis. The news you’re referring to is coming out of a Politico article from yesterday that does not identify sources of this information. DeSantis has since stated that he and Trump are still on good terms.
“One person close to the president”
“according to two GOP officials”
DeSantis is a joke!
In 2016 America failed to realize how many truly gullible stupid people there are in the US. In the future , if it is to survive the mistake, America will need to refuse to tolerate the lies of politicians. Perhaps a few basic laws such as a mandatory mental fitness exam for ALL higher federal offices , mandatory publication of taxes Before The Election . Perhaps the outlawing of ALL NDA’s , even in business. Secrecy is what produced this calamity , transparency may prevent it. It’s long past the time when people should demand that no company may keep it’s dirty secrets hidden away. If all corporations had to publicly show their taxes people would begin to see why their own taxes are so high.
Please vote. I think this election cycle will trap Trump further.
Katie Semore says
Society’s willingness or not to invest in education of our young people tells us more about that society than anything else. Much of society is proving to not be very smart.
The pay scales are messed up in Florida, but the thing about teachers is that they only work 9-10 months out of the year when you factor in holidays and summer/winter break. Many teachers go above and beyond, but not all teachers are worth $50k a year + benefits.
Gillum clearly doesn’t understand economics. He “doesn’t buy the argument” that cost will be passed on to the consumer. I guess he thinks money just grows on trees. Gillum will be a useless Governor as Republicans run this state. Next he will want a state income tax.
@Join Mayor Andrew Gillum and Chris King
There is a real, and enormous, difference between Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis is personal ambition, nothing else, period. His position on education is more pandering in service of the continued erosion of the Establishment Clause (see below and link) by people who support teaching, among other nonsense, a version of natural history that exists nowhere besides Flintstones cartoons and Christian fundamentalist’s so-called museums!
What does the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment mean?
The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another.
Q: “… From where and how does he intend to get the money…”
A: The Facts on the Gillum “Fair Share for Florida’s Future” Plan
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Andrew Gillum for Governor campaign released the following statement today from Geoff Burgan, Communications Director:
“As Governor, Mayor Gillum wants to invest $1 billion into our public schools, students, and teachers, building an education system that leads the nation instead of being at the bottom of the pack. To do so, Mayor Gillum is asking our state’s richest corporations to pay their fair share so our children can have the high-quality public education they deserve — while Ron DeSantis has no plan for public education, or any other critical issue facing Floridians.”
Under the Gillum Plan:
—$1 billion more would be put into our education budget — where per pupil spending is still below 2007 levels.
—The 2-3% of C-Corporations that would pay the tax would pay 83.9% less overall corporate taxes than under eight years of Rick Scott.
—No Floridian would pay even $1 more in taxes.
—About 98% of businesses would still pay no corporate income tax.
—0% of LLCs or S-Corporations would pay any corporate income tax.
—C-Corporation income under $50,000 would still be exempt from taxation.
—The merits of corporations paying their fair share has been a campaign issue before — and Floridians spoke loud and clear.
This is a proposed 2.25% (5.5%, adjusted to 7.75%) increase on corporate income taxes, not a “40% increase” as misleadingly reported.
“Gillum proposes higher corporate taxes for education,” [News Service of Florida, 1/19/18]
“How to get the Trump corporate giveaway back , and put it to work for Florida,” [Sun Sentinel Opinion, 1/22/18]
“Andrew Gillum proposes tax raise for education investments,” [WTXL, 1/19/18]
I am a conservative Libertarian, and more than willing to pay for education, as long as they are teaching the SUBJECTS. It seems lately kids know more of politics from their teachers than they do the subjects applicable. Ask 100 American students in high school and even college students what state or Country is Panama City the Capitol of, many to most will say Florida. It is not, it is Panama’s capital. Stop your agenda’s and teach the subjects, maybe then OUR youth will get an education on par with many other countries that are highly ranked
Stranger in a strange land says
Well done Pogo! Let’s deal in facts, not labels. For all of you shouting “socialism”, I am sure you are all such strict capitalists that you return your social security to the government and refuse medicaid and just pay your medical expenses out of your own pocket. Re. corporate tax rate, there were 16 states with rates equal to or higher than 7.75% in 2017. Most of those have a thriving business climate (probably because they have a better education system and better educated workers). As a professional with two school age children when I chose to relocate here fifteen years ago, the poor state and reputation of Florida schools was the biggest negative when weighing our relocation destination. I am sure that quality of education is an important factor for corporations contemplating relocation. If you are expecting your executives, accountants, engineers, etc. to relocate, you better think of their children’s education. The parents surely will. Like most DeSantis “plans” his education plan is all smoke and mirrors.
Another liberal who loves to spend money that other people earn. Typical wanna be.
The bottom line is you can promise people money all you want but in the end the same people have to pay for all that is promised! There is no way that type of increase can happen without economic consequences of much higher taxes! Can this candidate explain how he knows there won’t be mass layoffs with the corporate increase alone? Can this candidate explain how he knows that some corporations won’ Decide to relocate to a more tax friendly state? And can this candidate explain where these funds will come from after these things happen?
Beach Cat says
Be careful of those tax and spend liberals! Take heed, Republican fear mongers! You know full well Pogo is correct in his analysis. And Agistroden, you obviously have not visited a public school classroom where exists amazing productive teaching and learning. Get involved. Go volunteer. Stranger has it right and I sense a vote for Gillum. For those who fear all that liberal socialism, consider the following socialist advantages you love:
Public libraries, public schools, public universities, fire departments, police, garbage collection, Social Security, Medicare, public works, the military and more….the glue that holds our society together. Too bad Gov. Scott refused Medicaid expansion. He doesn’t care about millions of Floridians who deserve health care. You may remember he cut education spending. (As well as vetoed spending for conservation lands, signed bills rolling back state oversight of local development decisions, cut state regulations and slashed the budgets of Florida’s five water management districts. DeSantis will continue this travesty.) Gillum will honor education advances, accept Medicaid expansion, clean up and protect Florida’s environment, hopefully fire Miklos, straighten out the tax system, stop developers building on wetlands and beach fronts. Well, you get the picture. Vote Gillum!!
A Republican activist who donated more than $20,000 to Ron DeSantis and lined up a speech for him at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club called President Obama a “F—- MUSLIM N—-” on Twitter recently, in addition to other inflammatory remarks.
You donate to someone who you feel has your best interests at heart and supports your views. There is a reason that white supremists, bigots, racists, and just plain a$%H0les flock to this president and his desciples.
Florida: You absolutely cannot elect this racist bigot to governor. You are better than this.
BeachCat, and that is YOUR opinion, but you seem to think YOUR opinion is fact. Opinion has some basis on feelings, Facts do not.
Michael Cocchiola says
DeSantis is a do-nothing Trump puppet. He did absolutely nothing for the 6th District and now he wants to help keep Florida backward and stupid. There is not a teacher in this state that would vote for him.
What gives you the idea that geography AND civics (government/ploitics) can’t be taught as part of a comprehensive curriculum?. Trust me, they can, should be and formerly were taught to me in PUBLIC SCHOOLS which I attended as a youngster. While I probably couldn’t score a perfect 100% on the matching of countries and their capitals today, my knowledge of how the American government should function and the principles on which this country was founded has allowed me, especially when considering candidates for office, to choose the one whom I consider to be the best person for the job. I’m a proud taxpayer and a voter who has a pretty good idea of who I’m voting for and why, thanks to my teachers.
Winner!!! They work less than HALF the calendar days of an entire year. Full-time pay for a part-time job.
Anita, well good for you. But civics and politics are two completely different things, especially when it is for the most part, one sided. Civics is the study of one rights and civil/duties, has ZERO to do with Liberal or conservative viewpoints.
I wouldn’t vote for either one,. There has got to be someone better out there.
WOW!! Notice that folks run out the liberal name calling when they have no argument to shield their candidate. I have to ask then why is it that Conservative controlled states are the poorest, least educated, have the least good paying jobs, have the most health problems and have the highest number on welfare?
But you would elect another conservative?
There is no getting around it, De Santis is an empty suit that hasn’t had an independent thought of his own since he was elected..
I have to laugh at those who are knocking teachers. These dedicated people spend more time with your kids than you do. They provide comfort, care and understanding that most kids don’t get at home.Yet you would pay the guy who picks up your trash more than the person that spends more time during your childs formative years than you. Oh, you also expect them to save your kids lives in the case of an active shooter.
Those damn tax and spend liberals. I prefer cut tax and spend Con-servatism any day.
“The Congressional Budget Office projected in April that the federal budget deficit would hit $804 billion this year, and would top $1 trillion by 2020, two years earlier than previously projected.
Last week, the CBO reported that the federal government had already spent $895 billion more than it brought during the first 11 months of the fiscal year, an increase of $222 billion over the same period of time last year. Trillion-dollar deficits are very nearly here.”
Dave Floyd says
Raise the corporate tax and companies either lay off their work force or increase the price of their goods. Either way the middle class gets stuck with the bill. Why are liberals so badly educated in economics? Even if the gov’t received more money, they would waste 80% of it in with red tape. They would soon ask for more taxes to pay for the shortfall. And so the cycle continues.
Dave Floyd says
Congratulations Mothersworthy! You got everything completely wrong. 1) “Conservative run states are the poorest” – Actually states like Texas, Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and others are deficit neutral or have a budget surplus while N.Y. and California are nearly bankrupt. 2) “Least educated”- You’ll have to show me a stat on this because sending everyone to college on the taxpayer dime may show more people in college but certainly doesn’t t reveal them to be more educated. 3) “Least good paying jobs”- Conservative run states have lower unemployment and since the cost of living is less the quality of life is better. I would rather earn $50K here in Florida then $100K in N.Y. – 4)- “Most health problems”- ???? Stats please. I’ll take the health concerns of Texans over California or N.Y. 5) “More people on welfare” – You are a liar or willfully ignorant of facts. Check the welfare percentages of California with any conservative state then get back to me…..I’ll wait.