On February 19, 1968, half of Florida’s teacher workforce walked out of the classroom in protest for better learning environments for their students and increased funding for public schools. Today, we face some of the very same issues that we faced fifty years ago. The legislature has been unwilling to ensure that our schools are adequately funded – and teachers are leaving the profession at an alarming rate.
Sadly, what happened this week is a bleak reminder of the conditions our students are learning in.
After the Stoneman Douglas shooting, there was an outpouring of kind words, thoughts and prayers being sent to those affected by it. But words are not enough. Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need action.
Click here to see a message from FEA Secretary-Treasurer Luke Flynt
While everyone was still in shock on Wednesday night trying to find out if their loved ones had made it out safely from the school, the Florida legislature was writing amendments that further erode public school funding.
Politicians are not stopping, but neither are we. The Senate is set to hear HB 7055, the bigger, badder version of HB 7069, on Tuesday in the Senate Education Committee. We must keep the pressure on our senators – and ask them to stop this harmful bill. Please take a moment to contact your senator. You can do so using this link to the FEA Action Center: http://feaactioncenter.org/act/no-7055/
This week, we will honor bravery. We will honor the courageous teachers that walked out of the classroom fifty years ago, not knowing if they would ever be able to come back. We will honor those who lost their lives at the Stoneman Douglas shooting, and the school's staff members that put their student's lives before their own helping them get to safety. FEA and your local union will continue fighting for better learning conditions for our students in public schools.
To commemorate the anniversary of the walkout, we are asking everyone who supports public education to wear black on Tuesday, February 20.
Thank you for everything you do day in and day out. The pain of Wednesday’s shooting will never be forgotten, but together, we will make it through this.
Joanne M. McCall, President
Florida Education Association
NEA, AFT, AFL-CIO
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