College affordability is a central issue in the race for the Florida Governor’s Mansion. Governor Rick Scott has used the issue to blast his opponent, Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Charlie Crist. Now Crist has dispatched his running mate, Annette Taddeo, to talk about their platform and appeal to students wallets.
Taddeo is speaking to about 100 Florida A&M University students, sharing stories about her own challenges to get into college. Taddeo attended college in Alabama, but only after initially failing the college entrance exams. She says she had to take remedial courses to prove herself.
“I have a personal story about not getting into college and according to testing, not being good enough," she says. "Those experiences are going to be at the table on the first floor in Tallahassee.”
Taddeo carries that experience with her, and it influences the way she believes education should be structured.
She and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist want to put more money into the state’s public colleges and universities. Something she says will help balance the needs of a growing state university system, while keeping costs down for students.
“Right now we have a huge budget surplus and yet we are truly not investing in our kids and in the educational system," Taddeo says.
Crist and Taddeo are also pushing loan forgiveness programs for students who graduate with Science and Technology-based degrees. Boosting STEM graduates has also been a priority for Governor Rick Scott—who wants to keep costs low by challenging more state colleges to come up with 10-thousand dollar bachelor’s degree programs. The Governor got a boost this year from the Florida legislature with a new law that takes away the ability of the state university governing board to approve tuition increases—a privilege they got under former Governor Charlie Crist.