Some students working on college degrees in Florida are signing a petition asking Governor Rick Scott not to sign their diplomas. The creator of the petition says it’s because of the governor’s repeated assaults on the Florida education system.
Petition author Eric Curtisson writes that Scott works constantly to remove students’ rights to higher education. Curtisson doesn’t offer examples, but the governor has gotten plenty of criticism in the education arena.
Scott raised eyebrows last month when he suggested that certain fields of study, like anthropology, may not be worth the state dollars budgeted for them. Scott wants more students to major in the STEM areas known as science, technology, engineering and math. He says those are the areas that will bring high paying jobs to Florida. But not everyone wants a STEM degree, and thousands more signatures have made their way onto a separate petition demanding no funding cuts to liberal arts programs at Florida’s public universities.
Earlier this year, Scott’s initial state budget proposal would have cut $3.3 billion in education spending. Even House Speaker Dean Cannon wrote, “The budget we sent him funds education at a higher level than the governor recommended just a few months ago when he proposed a 10 percent cut.”
Curtisson’s petition is slowly gaining attention. The names of the signers are listed on the petition website with comments. One notes that Scott’s own grades were pretty embarrassing. Another says she’d rather not see his name on a degree that he doesn’t value.
Curtisson plans to deliver the petition to Governor Scott, but his effort to remove the governor’s name from university diplomas isn’t likely to be successful.