The Florida Education Association is taking to the airwaves to call on lawmakers to better fund public schools.
The statewide education association released two advertisements Thursday in response to several measures being advanced by the Legislature. The proposals, education officials said, would underfund public schools and harm public school students.
“Students are at the center of everything we do. That’s why we are fighting for students and for better public schools,” said Joanne McCall, the president of the Florida Education Association. “We’re fighting against too many tests that do nothing to help our children and working to ensure that schools and students have the resources they need for success.”
The House on Thursday voted 70-44 to approve a $200 million plan to shift students from chronically failing schools to charter schools run by private organizations. The bill, a priority for House Speaker Richard Corcoran, would offer up money to build what are being called “Schools of Hope” in neighborhoods across the state, many in urban and poor areas.
GOP lawmakers have framed the legislation as an effort to help children in some of the state’s persistent failing schools, but Democrats questioned whether it was designed to help the for-profit management companies that are often hired by the non-profit groups that run charter schools.
According to the FEA, the ads will go out digitally to the FEA’s 140,000 members and will run extensively in Tallahassee through the end of session.
“We will stand up for Florida’s public schools, for every student in every classroom,” said McCall.
__The Associated Press contributed to this report, reprinted with permission.