Florida: Promoting Reforms that Work
Affiliates across Florida are building community connections and strength from within as they work to counter savage attacks unfolding in the 2011 legislative session. Newly enacted legislation pushed by Gov. Rick Scott and other fringe politicians takes aim at educators’ bedrock contractual rights and installs an unproven merit pay system based on student test scores. A new “union gag” law would undercut educators’ voice in public policy. And also in jeopardy are public employee retirement and state support for strong public schools.
These attacks have been met with growing public dismay: Recent opinion polls show that Scott’s support has collapsed as Floridians learn more about his fringe agenda. AFT affiliates across Florida have mobilized across the peninsula to bring those lessons to the fore and to highlight how much the state stands to lose under Scott’s extremist agenda. These union-spearheaded events are taking a variety of forms: curbside demonstrations, telephone “town hall” meetings, lobby days, ad campaigns and school “walk-in” events that invite neighbors into buildings, to name just a few. And unions are preparing for the future: building levels of membership strength that is key to reclaiming a positive, progressive agenda.
- Read about how we can improve our public schools, advance education reform and keep Florida moving forward.
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Defending Public Services, American Teacher
Media coverage and other links
Workers: Most State Pensions Modest, The Ledger.com
Education reform: Political rhetoric full of myths, by Broward Teachers Union president Pat Santeramo, Orlando Sun Sentinel
Lawmakers move ahead on teacher bills, Miami Herald