…funding. A lot. Here at Floridianissen I haven’t been giving enough time and blog space to the wonder that is Rick Scott. I know so very little about politics that isn’t anecdotal, yet this guy seems determined to piss everyone off. Granted, budgets need to be brought under control. But last week flaglerlive.com reported on Rick Scott’s cut of all state spending to public television and radio stations. This cut 4.8 million dollars from a budget that is currently at 69 BILLION dollars. Let me put this in perspective real quick before I get into the educational side to this.

*Financial Sidebar: For those of us everyday schmoes that don’t count our money in millions, billions, or trillions; let me bring this down to our level. Let’s say that your paycheck is $690 (for two weeks of work) which is less than usual because you didn’t get as many hours. Your bills and expenditures (necessary or otherwise) exceed this by some unknown amount and you have to cut some of your usual stuff out of the budget. If you were to choose something to cut like Rick Scott chose to cut PBS funding as a “special interest” you would have to cut something that was worth about fifty cents. Not the $30 every other day you spend eating out. Not shaving down your grocery budget by twenty bucks for this paycheck. Not carpooling or turning your air conditioning down to save on energy costs. Rick Scott cutting PBS funding out of a 69 BILLION dollar budget is the equivalent of cutting a 50 CENT expenditure from your bi-weekly normal person budget. And while all of this illustrates how stupid it is, it ignores the fact that actual cuts would still have to be made to our everyday budget in order to make ends meet (or, if this cut in hours is permanent, a second job to bring in more revenue might be necessary). But I digress. I wanted to show that cutting PBS funding was unnecessary in these “hard times” and did not have to be one of the “hard decisions” that was made at the state level. *End Financial Sidebar*

I don’t want to get into the liberal vs. conservative/Tea Party bullshit here so much, but I will address it briefly. Currently, the media that has a conservative leaning relies on instilling fear and supporting that fear with actual news events. Are you afraid of the apocalypse this week? LOOK AT THIS EARTHQUAKE! Or it could work visa versa: These terrible earthquakes are shaking the region of oil-is-stan. EARTHQUAKES ARE A SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE! Cut to commercial: are you ready for the apocalypse? Buy these seeds! Ugh…again I digress. People can claim liberal or conservative bias all they want, but NPR and Talk of the Nation and things like that aren’t all that public broadcasting does. Quite a bit of public broadcasting is actually educational, something I thought that our nation had adopted as an extra special interest.

Just to be clear: Rick Scott cut funding to Elmo and Big Bird. Clifford the Big Red Dog. Programs which serve young kids and older kids as well as programming designed to prepare kids for school. There is even a resource site on the web for parents and an even more extensive one for teachers (oh wait, we’re not supporting their efforts anymore either…that’s right). These websites connect resources to the tv and radio programming so parents and teachers can be better for the kids and students they serve.

And what about these other resources? Nova: come on science is totally cool and Nova covers some pretty neat things. American Masters tries to continue to give attention to the dying art form of instrumental (specifically orchestral) music in this country. Hey political douchebags, it’s not all NPR and facts and junk! This is actual information that kids and families should have! Do we really want our old people IV’d up to Fox News all day while our kids get their educational shows from the Disney Channel? I think I just shuddered.

I talk a lot of crap about our local public radio station. My husband loves it, but he’s a bleeding heart liberal (I love you honey!). I find it to be dry and pretentious most of the time, but if I was honest with myself I have never found it to be partisan. Educational, but never hurtful. Their goal is to inform and educate and because they are publicly funded they can do that without fear of going off the air due to ratings decrease or lack of ad buy. Being funded by the state and “viewers like you” frees the public radio and tv stations up to be agenda free, focusing on facts and what actually benefits your child educationally. And now, in the great Sunshine State, Governor Rick Scott has stated that this is something that the government cannot get behind. Equal and non-partisan programming guaranteed for all citizens should they choose to watch it. It’s there. You want to have your kids watch a show that instructs and entertains without the endless Gogurt and Fruit by the Foot commercials? Better call your local PBS station and donate. Because the $10 you give is probably more than what the government would have taken from you in taxes to support it anyway.

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