Florida’s school system tumbles out of the top 10 (mostly due to budget cuts)

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Florida’s education system fell in rank from No. 5 to No. 11 this year due to budget cuts and stalling national test scores, according to a closely watched annual report released today.

The report card from the Education Week newspaper, which was provided in advance to the Tampa Bay Times and other news outlets, is another recent sign that Florida’s education star may be dimming.

On the academic achievement portion of the report, Florida dropped from No. 6 to No. 12.

On the finance portion, it stumbled from No. 31 to No. 39.

The latter rankings are based on 2009 figures, so they’re likely to get worse in future reports. The Legislature cut another $1.3 billion from schools last year.

“It’s not all about money, but at some point, it does take money to run a school system and a high quality one,” said Colleen Wood, founder of 50th No More, a state group dedicated to increased education spending.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.