Charlie Crist releases new ad, “Doorway,” touting per-pupil spending record

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Democratic candidate Charlie Crist released a new television spot on Tuesday highlighting his commitment to education, as a contrast to Gov. Rick Scott’s record of spending cuts.

“Doorway,” the 30-second spot, features the former governor at the doors of a school, talking about Scott’s record of “cutting education spending at all levels” and slashing Bright Futures college scholarships.

“This isn’t just a doorway to a school,” Crist says. “It was my doorway as a public school kid to opportunity.”

“Rick Scott has slashed funding from our schools and universities and closed the doors of opportunity for thousands of kids across Florida,” he adds.

While Crist was governor, per-pupil spending reached record highs. However, despite Scott signing a $77 budget this year — the largest in Florida history — Crist notes that per-student funding is almost $200 lower than it was under his watch.

In the press release announcing the video, Crist cites PolitiFact to support his claim, which found that when adjusting for inflation, per student funding is around $1200 below the high point of the Crist administration.

In 2013, Scott chose to skip the Education Summit, an event convened by his own office; instead, the governor spoke at a Tea Party rally.

That alone drove home Scott’s lack of commitment, Crist says.

“When I was Governor, we brought both parties together to open the doors of opportunity, not close them,” Crist concludes. “And together, we can do it again.”

Doorway is also available on YouTube.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.