Crist Running Mate Corrected After Claiming DeSantis ‘Defunded’ Public Education, Budget Includes Record Teacher Pay

September 6, 2022 Updated 2:23 PM ET

"This Week in South Florida: Karla Hernandez-Mats,", WPLG.

PEMBROKE PARK (FLV) – Karla Hernández-Mats was corrected during a television interview after falsely claiming that Gov. Ron DeSantis defunded public education on local ABC affiliate WPLG.

Democrat candidate for governor Charlie Crist chose Miami-Dade Teachers Union President Karla Hernandez-Mats as his running mate for lieutenant governor in Florida.

During the broadcast, Hernández-Mats was asked for her ideas to alleviate teacher shortages. In response, Hernández-Mats said, “This is one of the issues that is a big topic here in the state of Florida. We have over 9,000 vacancies across the state – and they are because of Ron DeSantis. It is because of his fatal policies of how he has defunded public education year after year. And because of it, and because of how he has deprofessionalized our profession, it has created this absence of workforce.”

WPLG’s Glenna Milberg quickly corrected Hernández-Mats, “Karla, can I just, a little fact check there – defunding is not exactly factual and the Governor did afford teachers a pay raise and bonuses this year. Just, laying that on the record.”

In June of 2022, Florida’s Voice reported that the Department of Education’s budget provides $29 billion for Pre K-20 education. The budget brought the average starting teacher pay in Florida to more than $48,000 for the first time in Florida’s history.

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