Every morning when I drop my 13-year-old son at school, I am reminded of the value of a good public education. It is his future. Protecting our public education system is one of the things that drove me into Florida politics years ago.
Most of us are appalled at the policies Gov. Rick Scott and Republicans in Tallahassee are pursuing cuts in funding, teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, and more.
These are the same kind of policies Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would pursue across the nation.
According to them, education is the responsibility of each individual family, and each family should get whatever education they can afford for their kids. Once again, “you’re on your own.” If your family can’t afford much, that’s too bad. Romney and his supporters would abandon those millions of young Americans and their futures.
President Obama understands this is wrong and that a quality public education must be available to all students – not just the few who can afford it. He said:
"You can choose a future where more Americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete, no matter how old they are or how much money they have. Education was the gateway to opportunity for me. It was the gateway for Michelle. It was the gateway for most of you. And now more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle-class life.
"And now you have a choice -- we can gut education, or we can decide that in the United States of America, no child should have her dreams deferred because of a crowded classroom or a crumbling school. No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money. No company should have to look for workers overseas because they couldn’t find any with the right skills here at home. That’s not our future. That is not our future."
Education is the foundation for a stronger economy and better jobs for Americans, and it is the gateway to opportunity for all. America can not afford to go back on education.
We must re-elect the President and elect Democrats to Congress and our Florida Legislature if we hope to keep our economy and our middle class strong.