JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As Gov. Rick Scott balanced his budget, he had to make cuts. One of those cuts isn't making Jacksonville's Mayor Alvin Brown or some high school students very happy.
The Brown's Learn2Earn program that helps high school students head to college was among dozens of programs across the state Scott vetoed on Monday.
"I'm very disappointed, this is unacceptable," said Brown. "This year they said 'hey, we're going to give us a chance to make our case,' and we never got that opportunity. I'm very disappointed about it."
Mayor Brown said he worked with legislators in Tallahassee and was guaranteed a chance to make a case for the $500,000 summer program, but his staff was shocked to learn news Monday morning that the governor had vetoed the program all together.
"It's unfortunate, many of these kids will be the first in their family to go to college," said Brown. "I believe education is a great equalizer. Think about it this way. Only 25%of residents in Jacksonville have a college degree and I want to increase that to 50%."
Governor Scott's budget calls Learn2Earn a program that "does not provide a core education mission for state government and could be purchased by the school districts if desired." Other Republicans are hammering the Mayor for his complaints about the budget.
State Republican Chairman Lenny Curry released a statement late monday saying, "Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown's attack on Governor Rick Scott is over the top. How can an additional $1 billion of funding into K-12 schools be considered a failure to support youths?"
Despite the bickering, Brown said he is going to try and and find other ways to fund Learn2Earn.
"We are going to move forward," said Brown. "We're going to work with private sector and make sure these people have the opportunity to move on to college by living on a college campus and having a summer job."