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PolitiFact Florida: Fact-Checking Gubernatorial Candidates Claims On Education

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With Election Day just about a week away, CBS4 News is now part of an effort to fact-check Florida's gubernatorial candidates who remain tied in the polls.

PolitiFact Florida is a partnership of the Tampa Bay Times and CBS4 News partner the Miami Herald to help find the truth in politics. PolitiFact has been checking the two major candidates for Governor on several issues including education.

Florida Governor Rick Scott claims thousands of teachers lost their jobs when Charlie Crist was governor.

CLICK HERE To Watch Eliott Rodriguez's Report 

The nonpartisan fact-checking site PolitiFact checked out Scott's claim.

"The number came from a liberal think tank that compiled media reports of potential layoffs," said Amy Sherman of PolitiFact.

In fact, Florida did lose about 3,000 teacher jobs from 2007 to 2008.

"That includes some layoffs but it also includes retirement, teachers who moved to another state or simply quit," Sherman said.

PolitiFact also checked out Crist's claim that he saved 20,000 teacher jobs by taking federal stimulus money.

"To take the recovery money to help make sure we didn't have to fire 20,000 school teachers," Crist said.

Sherman said the statement is accurate.

"The federal government did give Florida stimulus money which the State Department of Education says went to about 20,000 education jobs," Sherman said.

PolitiFact's bottom line on education: Crist's statement that "if Florida had not taken the stimulus it would have led to the firing of 20,000 teachers is MOSTLY TRUE, which according to PolitiFact means, the statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information.

And Scott's statement that "3,000 teachers lost their jobs when Crist was governor," is MOSTLY FALSE, which means, the statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.


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