Teacher Rallies Start; School Board Preps for Possible $97 Million Cut

Teacher Rallies Start; School Board Preps for Possible $97 Million Cut

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- "Terrible, worse, draconian, catastrophic." 

That's how Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals described budget cuts today at a workshop in which the school board discussed how to handle a potential loss of $97 million.

The potential loss would come from Gov. Rick Scott's budget proposal in which he promised massive spending cuts.

While today's meeting covered several topics -- the intervene schools, vacant positions and governance included -- the big item was the budget.

Pratt-Dannals, in his remarks to the board, reiterated that the budget must be balanced no matter the dollar figure.

The options on the table are severe. One would cut health insurance for employees.

Another would eliminate non-core programs, including art, music, physical education, etc., or the elimination of staffing for all after-school programs, including sports and band.

Dueling Rallies with Tea Party, Unions Sweep State as Legislature Gathers

Dueling Rallies with Tea Party, Unions Sweep State as Legislature Gathers

TAMPA, Fla. -- Groups from all over Florida are planning rallies Tuesday as the Legislature's session starts.

The Florida Legislature opens its 2011 session today, and it's shaping up to be a loud and confrontational time. Republicans carry a better than two-to-one majority in the Legislature. They may have big debates within the party over what to cut and how deeply.

Then there are the Democrats, who say the state is already struggling to meet its obligations to its people without any cuts.

Dozens of rallies were planned across Florida to protest broad budget cuts and push to protect unions.

"I really think they are after the corporate bottom line," said Lance King, who took the day off from work to protest in Tallahassee.

Gov. Rick Scott wants to trim state spending by $5 billion and phase in property and corporate tax cuts.

St Johns Teacher Rallies

St Johns County Teachers will be participating in Teacher Rallies over the next week.

  • Tuesday 3/8 - Sign Waving 4:30 - 6:30 (312 and US1 and SR 16 at Publix) as well as at the School Board Meeting at 6:00.
  • Saturday - 3/12 Marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in St Augustine.
  • Monday 3/14 RALLY in the Plaza (Cordova and King St, St Augustine) with the 50th No More Group. Rally starts at 5:15!

First Coast Tea Party Backs Mike Hogan for Mayor of Jacksonville

First Coast Tea Party Backs Mike Hogan for Mayor of Jacksonville

Republican Mike Hogan has earned the endorsement of one of the most politically active groups in Duval County. The First Coast Tea Party, with 10,000 members, has formally endorsed Hogan for mayor of Jacksonville.

St. Johns County Adopts Revised Impact Fees

The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners unanimously adopted revised impact fees today, resulting in significant decreases for non-residential categories and moderate increases for residential units. The revised impact fees are the result of the legally required process to ensure impact fees are based on the most recent and localized data.

Gov. Rick Scott on Rumored White House Run

Gov. Rick Scott on Rumored White House Run

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott's eyes widened a bit when asked about a possible presidential run in 2012.

But when asked what he had to say about the idea after speaking at the Florida 2011 Rural Summit at the World Golf Village Friday, Scott did not rule it out.

"I just got elected," said Scott.  "I think, what, I've been here six weeks?  So my goal is, I ran on a seven step to 700,000 jobs and my goal is to get the state back to work."

The question has been batted around by political experts in several different arenas, from newspapers to radio to television.

Scott's recent decision to turn down $2.4 billion in federal dollars for a high speed rail line from Orlando to Tampa also raised eyebrows. The governor has not been quiet about his opposition to current leaders' spending.


Gov. Rick Scott Speaks at World Golf Village

Gov. Rick Scott Speaks at World Golf Village

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Gov. Rick Scott was at World Golf Village this morning speaking at the Florida 2011 Rural Summit.

Scott reiterated to the crowd at the economic development event the same themes on which he ran for office: reducing the size of government and making Florida a better place for businesses.

"We all believe that government has enough tax dollars, if they would spend it better," he said.

Florida's Statewide Rural Economic Development Summit focuses on the economic development in rural Florida.

Scott said he wants to make Florida the nation's premier place to live, work and play, and that to do so, the state needs to foster a friendlier business climate by reducing taxes, fees and regulation.

He also said he believes state employees, like employees at many private companies, need to contribute to their retirement plans by paying into their pensions.