The state of Florida has always had problems with providing its children and college students with a decent, world class education.
Always unwilling to have a state income tax and desirous of avoiding any tax they can avoid, the state legislature and its Republican Governors since 1999 have bled the public school system dry and refused to recognize that its students, as a result, score terribly on competitive exams in all fields of knowledge, as compared to many states in the rest of the country.
Students too often come to college without any general knowledge base, and are ill prepared to do college work, and the economy offers mostly low wage employment, and promotes an anti labor bias, priding itself on being a “right to work” state, meaning exploitation of workers!
With Florida near the bottom in most statistics educationally, Governor Rick Scott now wishes to bleed over $3 billion out of the state education budget, while providing further tax cuts to the wealthy and the corporate and business world, and therefore, is doing everything possible to punish educators, along with other public servants, including police officers, fire fighters, nurses, social workers, librarians, sanitation workers, prison guards and others.
Regarding education, Scott and his party are working to end tenure, and to use testing that will cost money, that does not exist in the education system, to eliminate experienced teachers whose students do not perform well on state mandated tests, failing to understand that how a student performs is much more based on his or her work habits and parental influences than being in a classroom for a few hours per day!
Also, all state workers will have to take a pay cut, after years of low wages and inadequate pay increases, to pay for their Florida Retirement System pension, plus greater costs for their medical benefits. Sick Leave not used will be forfeited, instead of being paid out at retirement.
And the worst thing of all, particularly involving education, is that after July 1, 2011, when a teacher or professor retires, he or she will NEVER be able to be employed part time at any educational institution covered by the Florida Retirement System, instead of the earlier one month and then one year limitation!
This draconian cut off of talented educators from any ability to teach part time is not only denying talented retirees the opportunity to contribute their skills to the younger generation, and locking them into an inability to pursue their profession and improve their economic status by being able to earn part time income!
It will also create a major educational crisis within a short period, as there will be a rapid depletion of available adjunct professors and teachers, who are particularly the lifeblood of any educational institution at the college and university level!
With growing enrollments expected to continue, how will college administrators and public school administrators be able to staff classrooms and provide education if the pool of available talent is so limited by forced retirement from any involvement with the educational system, simply because one wishes to retire from full time?
This is stupid, asinine policy, which will contribute to the further deterioration of Florida educationally, and will have a tragic economic effect on the future of the Sunshine State, and this all to benefit a small elite of wealthy and business people who could not give a damn about the future of anything other than their own greedy, selfish aggrandizement!