Budget conference: House agrees to earmark for Cuban history teacher training in Miami-Dade

Protesters Opposed To Obama's Shift In Cuba Policy Demonstrate In Miami
The program is meant to increase teacher competency in Cuban and Cuban American studies education.

A program in which Miami-Dade County public school teachers will learn how to better teach about Cuban history and Cuban Americans is receiving full funding this year after lawmakers quickly agreed on a spending plan.

In its first response to unmatched Senate budget proposals, the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee approved spending $152,000 on the program, which Florida International University (FIU) will help administer.

The Senate’s proposed budget (SB 2500) included an earmark for the program. The House package (HB 5001) did not.

Subcommittee members agreed to the apportionment early Monday evening.

According to appropriation requests by Republican Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez and GOP Rep. Alex Rizo, the purpose of the program is “to provide 200 teachers in Miami-Dade County … with the knowledge and skills to provide instruction regarding the history of Cuba and the impact of Cuban Americans in Miami and the nation.”

Of the funding, $100,000 will cover teacher stipends for five days of instruction, equal to $100 per teacher per day. Another $42,000 will pay for equipment, travel, supplies and other expenses their instructors incur. The remainder will cover $1,000-per-day payments to two “content experts.”

The goal of the program, Rizo’s appropriations request said, is to help teachers gain “a greater degree of competency in the area of Cuban and Cuban-American studies content.”

“Participating teachers will increase their capacity to serve the largest student immigrant group in Miami-Dade,” the request said.

Focuses will include analyses of the political and economic history of Cuba and the region, inclusive of Miami and Florida, and examinations of cultural and historical social information about the island nation.

Participating teachers will come from middle and high schools.

The $152,000 in nonrecurring funds follows an appropriation lawmakers OK’d last year to provide a nonrecurring $63,000 earmark for the program.

Rodriguez’s appropriations request said Miami-Dade plans to ask for $300,000 more for the program in the future.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • My Take

    February 26, 2024 at 8:01 pm

    Benevolent Batista?
    The economic benefits of the Mafia’s casinos.
    Oh, that would be Newer College.
    FIU? We’ll see.

  • George

    February 26, 2024 at 8:48 pm

    Why is this even being considered? Just some suckin’ up to the Cuban hardliners. Anyone that lives within an hour’s drive of Miami has been living with Cuban “history” for decades.

Comments are closed.


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