Andrew Gillum on Education
But the way Gillum proposes to raise the extra $1 billion--an increase in the corporate income tax from 5.5 percent to 7.75 percent--would likely be nearly impossible to get through the Legislature. On top of the GOP's antipathy to tax hikes, the state constitution requires a three-fifths vote in each chamber to raise the corporate income tax above 5 percent.
[Republican gubernatorial opponent Ron] DeSantis supports the school-choice policies Florida Republicans have passed in their 20 years in power, specifically, expanding charter-school and voucher programs. DeSantis also wants to "stop Common Core"-- the standards adopted by 45 out of 50 states as a way to improve education--but the steps he'd take to unwind them is unclear.
GILLUM: The high-stakes testing regime, implemented through Florida's failed education reforms, has let down our state's children, parents, and teachers. Our current system demonizes our teachers, instead of supporting their work to mold, shape, and educate humanity. Our education system doesn't prepare children from the earliest stages-- 100% of our state's children should be reading at grade level. Testing and teaching to the test doesn't show us what our kids know, just how well they test. As Governor, I'll ensure a culture of accountability that views assessments as a data point, instead of the single, punitive arbiter of student, teacher, and school success.
GILLUM: While we're all proud to see many of Florida's universities rising in national rankings, some disparities exist in how we allocate resources among our institutions of higher learning. The current funding system unfairly punishes several universities, including our state's only institution dedicated to educating people of color. All state universities should have improvements measured against their own performance, not by a one-size-fits-all formula that harms those universities' students and teachers. I also believe that anyone willing to commit four years of employment in our state should be able to achieve a debt-free college education.