News Teachers, angry over wages, rally in Florida capital

Teachers, angry over wages, rally in Florida capital

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Teachers, parents and supporters gave downtown Monday because of what they said was a systematic attack on public education going into the 1990s.

Thousands of protesters in red T-shirts, some of them carrying signs said “I shouldn't be marrying sugar dad to teach,” marching from Florida State University campus to the Capitol state, by blocking traffic in the middle heart of city.

Some buses on board in South Florida at 3 a.m. to be in Tallahassee for the 1:30 pm. an exhibition organized by the Florida Education Association teachers' union.

The procession and rally, which consisted of national labor unions, was designed to raise public awareness of what teachers demand and the failure of the Legislator to provide adequate funding for public schools.

Low payment of teachers, high stakes testing and lack of support for instructors after Florida's shortage of educators, said demonstrators. There are more than 3,500 vacant teaching posts throughout the state.

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“There are 36 high schools with 1,000 or more students who fail to offer physics classes because they cannot find certified teachers. And one of the 8 English classes in this state is taught by uncertified teachers, ”said Fedrick Ingram, FEA president, before leading a march up to a half mile hill to the Capitol.

She was frustrated by the English teacher County County Ruantra Bitere, and began to log on all the hours she worked before and after school and at weekends. Running her log 20 times a week fast – but she has a salary, so she does not get extra money for him.

"I work 60 hours a week, and I'm struggling to pay rent," she said.

Florida is one of the 10 lowest state-funded students in the country, with educational spending below pre-recession levels when inflation is accountable. And the 26th state in the nation for starting pay for teachers, according to the National Educational Association.

“We have shown that, year on year, we expect things to be better, and all that happened is that our classrooms got bigger. We lost our librarians and school nurses. And this has emerged, as we say 'It's enough enough,'; Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Educational Association, said that it was a celebration of the teachers.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis, Republican, committed to the 2020 “Year of Teacher Making.” DeSantis plans to raise $ 603 million to raise state teachers' starting pay, and a further $ 300 million in bonuses for very effective teachers .

About 101,000 class teachers will benefit from starting a pay increase, from over 173,000 full-time teachers, DeSantis spokesman Helen Ferre said in an email. DeSantis is a strong supporter of Florida class teachers, particularly those who are younger and working in schools with greater challenges.

But legislative leaders from the DeSantis party have been skeptical about the plan. “When you put it as one-size one, you can create some practical problems as well as some imbalance,” said Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton.

However, teachers on the DeSantis plan call “a good start.” They want 10% pay for all teachers, not just for those starting out, as well as for school staff.

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Teachers have motivated teachers in Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and West Virginia with pressure makers over the past year to increase spending on schools.

“And today it's here in Tallahassee,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

“This generation of teachers is saying, 'We reset. … Let's do what the Florida people said they want to do: Fund a high performance public education system, "" Weingarten said. Around her, thousands of teachers are wearing a red shirt with their school areas and bottled water bottles on them up the hill to Capitol Florida.

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Directed by police escort, a steady stream of teachers came out of the city Civic Center and raised the hill to the Capitol. They filled the lawn and dropped into the nearby road.

Melissa Francisco teaches computer science in Suwannee County. As many students with special needs have accommodation plans, they need extra time, some have to stand during class and some want to repeat instructions. She said the resources or support are not necessary.

"Now," she said, "do you know I can start at Publix for $ 19 per hour?"

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James Call and CD Davidson-Hiers continued on Twitter: @CallTallahassee and @DavidsonHiers

This article first appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Florida rally teachers over pay, protest salary in march Tallahassee

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