Dockery to Scott: Veto New Polytechnic University
A Lakeland senator who opposes the quickened split-off of a new polytechnic university in central Florida on Tuesday urged Gov. Rick Scott to veto the bill (SB 1994).
Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, said the university system is facing cuts, including those that will harm efforts to boost science and technology, which makes creating a new school for such programs non-sensical.
Dockery noted that the University of Florida College of Engineering is facing a $3 million proposed cut that would, she wrote to Scott, effectively eliminate its Computer Science and Information Science and Engineering program.
“What sense does it make to cut funding for (science, technology, engineering and math) programs at an accredited, highly respected research university, which will negatively affect students, only to redirect their funds to a non-existent, unaccredited institution, with no STEM students, faculty or programs?” Dockery wrote. “Last week, you heard from one state senator and his lobbyist and business friends who support immediate independence – but you must listen to Florida’s educators, parents and students, who overwhelming disapprove of this legislation.”
Scott was asked on Tuesday about the prospects for the bill, but wouldn’t give any hints.
“I think I have until Friday to make a decision,” the governor told reporters after signing the budget into law at an elementary school in St. Johns County.
Scott did leave $33 million in the budget for the University of South Florida that some had feared would be eliminated.