Florida faces a $3.8 billion budget shortfall. Deep cuts are expected in every area, but after two years of cutbacks, public school advocates say they can't take any more. Now they've brought their fight to Tallahassee.
Lawmakers are once again sharpening their budget axe, and once again Spring Break has become a call to arms for Florida's teachers.
“No more cuts! No more cuts!”
Thursday, they came here by the hundreds joined by students and parents.
Now, you don't hop on a bus well before dawn without a good reason, and they have one... Budget proposals in the House and Senate are calling for cuts to education spending near 7 percent.
Many schools say they could be forced to eliminate music and art classes, not to mention lay off teachers.
Chris Trevett came here from Seminole County.
“I would say our teaching staff is very depressed, feeling personally attacked,” he said. “Morale is extremely low, and I'm talking an A-plus school, an A-plus school district.”
Republican leaders say the education cuts could be even deeper if not for a plan, widely-expected to pass, that would require teachers to contribute to their pensions.
Wednesday, the speaker of the house amended his proposal to cut school funding by up to 10 percent, saying he's found a way to come up with an extra $75 million to help dull the pain.