Case #571.0

Governor Bob Graham and the Improvement of Florida's Education System (A)

Publication Date: January 01, 1983
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In late June 1983, Gov. Bob Graham faced a tough choice. He had threatened to veto any budget legislation that did not provide new taxes to fund educational reforms--especially salary raises for teachers (a campaign promise). But although three education reform bills had been submitted that term, legislators were unable to reach a compromise, and the two chambers finally passed a "continuation" budget which included no provisions for increased revenues. Graham now had to decide whether to sign the budget measure or veto it only six days before the new fiscal year began. The abridged version of this case traces the evolution of all three educational reform bills and the actions of their sponsors and of various interest groups in the days leading up to Graham's decision.

Learning Objective:
The case provides students with a "real life" problem in political management in which a number of external actors must be dealt with before a substantive goal can be reached. The emphasis here is not on the contents of the legislation, but rather on analyzing the interests of the involved parties and discussing strategies for achieving a workable compromise. The case also emphasizes the importance of the governor's personal political stakes in the process and the outcome. The longer, five-part version of the case provides extensive background on Florida's political, educational, and demographic history.

Other Details

Case Author:
Paul Starobin
Faculty Lead:
Stephanie Gould
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States