Governor Scott’s $10k education proposal was slammed today by both the Tampa Bay Times and the Tampa Tribune as a “publicity stunt,” and “gimmick” that ignores Scott’s own record of taking a “meat cleaver on public school and university budgets” — the real underlying cause of Florida’s tuition increases.
“Cheap Gimmicks are no way to improve Florida’s higher education system and better prepare students for the work force. That is exactly what Gov. Rick Scott proposed Monday… But slashing prices to deliver cheap college degrees when what’s really needed is more public investment in colleges and universities is the wrong approach…Scott says he is doing this for cash-strapped families so their children can afford the college degrees they need to get good jobs. But he made no mention that as governor he has signed into law deep spending cuts for higher education that have forced the sorts of tuition increases he now opposes…Even with recent tuition increases, Florida colleges and universities are underpriced and underfunded. If Scott wants to reduce tuition for Florida families and provide the quality higher education they should expect, the state needs to find more money to invest. The governor wants to run the state like a business. Successful businesses don’t slash prices to move cheap products to a few customers and fail to invest in quality. This is a publicity stunt that has not taken off in Texas, and Floridians are likely to be just as skeptical.”
“On the other side of the aisle, Gov. Rick Scott and his friends in the Florida Legislature have proven adept at answering this challenge with political sleight-of-hand. Phase 1: Use a meat cleaver on public school and university budgets. Phase 2: Spend lots of money to open the new Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland. Phase 3: Do a photo op with some smiling teachers and/or school kids. The governor’s announcement Monday fits right into the current landscape. He challenged the higher ed system to create bachelor’s degrees that students could earn for $10,000…Yes, college is too expensive and student debt is a social and economic time bomb. The problem requires serious people seeking serious solutions. It won’t be solved with gimmicks. The governor’s proposal is a gimmick.”