- Annette Taddeo
- D.C. Reads
- Election 2022
- Florida gubernatorial election
- Johanna Lopez
- Luica Baez-Geller
- Luisa Santos
- miami dade county
- Miami-Dade County Public Schools
- Miami-Dade Public Schools
- Orange -Public Schools
- Orange County
- orange county public schools
- Public School Board
- Public School Boards
- Putting Parents First Adjustment
- Ron DeSantis
- school boards
Three School Board members from Miami-Dade and Orange counties have endorsed Democratic Sen. Annette Taddeo’s bid to take the Governor’s Mansion in November, citing her support and involvement to keep public education strong in Florida.
As a parent with a child in public school, Taddeo said in a statement Monday that public education is a personal issue for her.
“In the midst of (Ron) DeSantis’ and the Legislature’s attempt to defund $200 million from public schools, having the support from these strong advocates for public education means a lot to me,” she said. “Florida’s children deserve a quality education no matter their zip code.”
Taddeo referred to the “Putting Parents First Adjustment” plan, a proposal House Republicans are backing to dock a collective $200 million from the pay of school administrators from 12 school districts that imposed mask mandates to prevent COVID-19 spread.
The proposed adjustment, which targets administrators making $100,000 or more yearly, would reapportion the withheld funds to the state’s remaining 55 districts.
DeSantis initially disagreed with the idea, suggesting instead that parents whose kids were “illegally masked” should sue districts over speech, emotional and physical problems the masks have been found to cause in very young and neurodivergent children. But DeSantis later warmed to the idea.
These actions come amid an “unprecedented teacher shortage” in Florida, said Luisa Santos, a School Board member in Miami-Dade. Her background includes work as a program coordinator for D.C. Reads, a Georgetown University K-5 literacy program, and a stint in the U.S. Department of Education.
As Florida Politics previously reported, there are now nearly 4,500 teacher vacancies across the state, where many public school instructors are being required to teach subjects for which they lack certification.
Taddeo would address that issue if elected Governor, Santos said.
“Sen. Taddeo has always been a champion for education,” she said. “We need leadership in Florida who on Day 1 has concrete policies formulated that will help solve some of the educational issues we are facing.”
Santos’ Miami-Dade colleague, Lucia Baez-Geller, agreed. A former teacher of 15 years, Baez-Geller said Taddeo “has been a fervent advocate for public schools since she was first elected.”
Currently, Republicans are trying to take more than $70 million from our school district for political revenge, and Annette is fighting back!” she said. “We need leadership that will prioritize educating our children and not use them as political pawns. I am confident that as Governor, Sen. Taddeo will always fight for what’s best for our schools.”
Since she took office in 2017, Taddeo has been a friend to public schools, serving as “an ally and not a roadblock,” said Johanna López, who taught for 19 years before being elected to the Orange County School Board.
“While our current Governor is trying to punish school districts that don’t obey him,” she said, “it’s refreshing to have a candidate that’s committed to getting our schools the resources they need to educate the next generation of leaders.”