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Philip Levine out with schools and teachers commercial

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine is turning his focus to schools and teachers in his new television commercial being launched statewide Friday.

The 30-second spot, “Class is In” includes Levine’s platform pledges of increasing teachers’ salaries by $10,000, increasing funding for schools, and stopping state tests. His campaign is putting $1 million behind airing the ad.

The commercial begins with Levine visiting a classroom and saying that there is nothing more than teaching that the teacher would rather do. “But Florida politicians care so little about her and other teachers, they’re now among the worst-paid in the nation, as our public schools are left begging for funds.

“I’m running for governor to stop the testing and start investing,” he adds.

Levine faces former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, and Winter Park entrepreneur Chris King in the August 28 Democratic primary for the governor’s race. The leading Republicans are Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis.

“Everywhere I go in our state, I hear from Floridians about how our public schools are underfunded, and our teachers are underpaid and under-appreciated,” Levine stated in a news release issued by his campaign. “If we want to build a 21st century economy in Florida, it starts by upping our game and rising to meet our responsibility to ensure that Florida’s public education system is the best in the nation. As Florida’s next governor, we’re going to stop testing and start investing, with pay raises for our educators and school personnel, more funding for public schools, and by giving every child a chance to succeed.”

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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