TALLAHASSEE, Fla. /Florida Newswire/ — Governor Charlie Crist today stood with representatives of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Florida’s education community in demonstration of support of the 25-year compact with the Seminole Tribe as a much-needed funding resource for Florida’s students and teachers. “The compact represents $288 million for education this year alone, and those dollars are just the beginning of billions of dollars that will come to Florida’s schools during the next 25 years,” Governor Crist said. “These much-needed funds will improve the quality of life of students, teachers, and all Floridians for generations to come.”

Governor CristThe following statements in support of the compact were released today:

Statement by Florida School Boards Association Dr. Wayne Blanton, Executive Director

“With Florida school districts facing devastating classroom cuts, our board has voted to endorse the state’s Compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. We do not have a position on gambling one way or the other, but we agree with Governor Crist that the Seminole Compact is a critical source of immediate and ongoing revenue to protect the education of our children.”

Statement by Florida Association of District School Superintendents Chief Executive Officer William J. “Bill” Montford III

“Florida has a critical need for revenues to support public education, and the Seminole Compact is a tool that will help us meet that need. The first jobs this Compact will save will be those of the educators and school workers who help equip our children with the skills they and Florida will need to compete in the future. The Compact makes sense and deserves Florida’s support.”

Statement by Florida Education Association President Andy Ford

“At a time when our economy isn’t growing and recognizing the painful choices being made by Governor Crist and the leadership of the Florida Legislature, I believe that we must work together in order to secure the funding necessary for us to make our schools a priority. I’m confident that the gaming compact represents an area where all of us can agree that the funding stream provided will be put to good use in maintaining the programs that provide vital services and support to our state’s students, while also bolstering the funding that helps to protect the jobs of dedicated teachers and support professionals.”