From the Archives: He and They

Aug 13 • 733 Views • View Comments

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Good morning,

HE called them “reckless” after THEY supported his opponent 14 years ago.

HE threatened to withhold school funding over paycheck deductions … THEY said he was “holding school children hostage.”

And after HE made “massive education cuts,” THEY “sniped” at him.


Now the teachers union is helping Charlie Crist on his poorly named “Restoring the Cuts” bus tour. NEWS FLASH: Governor Scott has already restored K-12 school funding to its highest total in history after Charlie Crist cut $1.4 billion in state funding, while also giving teachers $480 million in pay raises, something Charlie Crist never did. See the background below.

Matt Moon
Communications Director
Rick Scott for Florida


In 2000 Florida Education Commissioner Race, FEA Opposed Crist. “In the race for education commissioner, teachers support George Sheldon, while the governor favors Charlie Crist… The Republican candidate, former state Sen. Charlie Crist, of St. Petersburg, is a strong supporter of Gov. Jeb Bush and Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan’s reform program: annual tests in reading, writing, math and eventually science; a letter grade for each school based on student test scores; and private school tuition vouchers for students who want to escape from ‘F’ schools. The teacher unions were skeptical of many aspects of the Bush administration’s plan. ‘Frankly, it would have surprised me if I had received the endorsement of the teachers’ union,’ Crist said Tuesday.” (Diane Rado, “Teachers’ Union Supports Lawyer,” St. Petersburg Times, 7/26/00)

As Education Commissioner, Crist Called FEA “Reckless.” “The state Department of Education has decided to count only multiple-choice questions on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test – and not the longer, essay-type responses – so the tests can be scored more quickly… ‘We want a time out,’ said Maureen Dinnen, president of the 120,000-member, Tallahassee-based Florida Education Association. ‘We are asking the governor, the Florida Legislature and the Department of Education to suspend the implementation and use of FCAT results for any grading purposes.’…The association’s attack on the FCAT drew quick fire from Florida Education Commissioner Charlie Crist, who called the educators’ request to freeze the test scores ‘reckless.’ ‘I disagree with them totally,’ said Crist. ‘They don’t like the test, but they are not suggesting an alternative. For me, the key to FCAT is that it’s about accountability.’” (Luisa Yanez, “To Save Time, State Won’t Count Essays On Fcat,” Miami Herald, 3/2/01)

Crist Targeted Teacher Unions By Threatening To Withold School Funds If Money Was Being Deducted For Union Dues; FEA Called Said It Held “School Children Hostage.” “Florida’s schools could lose millions of dollars in lottery money if teachers don’t prove that union dues deducted from their paychecks aren’t used for political purposes. A memo sent by Education Commissioner Charlie Crist’s top attorney to the state’s 67 school districts last week directed them to prove that no payroll deductions are used to support political issues or candidates… ‘This is an effort to hold school children hostage to get school districts to hurt FEA by withholding dues,’ said Ron Meyer, an attorney for the union. But the FEA doesn’t want to jeopardize tens of millions in lottery dollars either, Meyer said.” (Jackie Hallifax, “Lottery Money Threatened By Payroll Deduction Debate,” Associated Press, 8/16/01)

In 2008, FEA “Sniped” At Crist For His Education Cuts. “The Florida Education Association, the statewide teachers’ union, has started sniping at Crist for the massive education cuts.” (Marc Caputo, “Word Change Ups Chances For Vouchers,” Miami Herald, 6/4/08)

Charlie Crist’s Last Budget Left K-12 Schools With Nearly $1.4 Billion Less In State Funding Than His First Budget. In the first budget Charlie Crist signed (FY 2007-2008), total K-12 funding was at $18,751,344,667. In the last budget Charlie Crist, signed (FY 2010-2011), total K-12 funding was at $17,353,385,926. The difference is $1,397,958,741. (“Ten Year History Of State and Local School Funding,” Florida Department of Education)

Under Rick Scott’s Budget, “The Bottom Line-Number For K-12 Schools Of $20.7 Billion In The Largest In History …” (Steve Bousquet, “Florida Gov. Rick Scott Signs State Budget, Vetoes Just $69 Million In Spending,” The Tampa Bay Times, 6/2/14)


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