The first full week of May is when we annually show appreciation to teachers with trinkets, flowers and notes. This year, though, let’s do something that has a more far-reaching impact: CONTACT YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS RIGHT NOW AND LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU DEMAND THEY SUPPORT FLORIDA TEACHERS, KIDS AND EDUCATION.
“Why should I take my time to do that?” or “What difference can I make?” are two common questions when it comes to taking a stand in politics and policy. And granted, it’s a lot to know and often times can be confusing. But, a number of groups are following the activities in Tallahassee and they you need you RIGHT NOW to reach out and be heard.
The posts are going around social media with little attention. These posts are BEGGING for parents to make a phone call, send an email AND share the info so we can cumulatively stir up interest in things that really IMPACT OUR KIDS today, tomorrow and into the future.
These VIPS, very important posts, aren’t getting a lot of traction, because social media doesn’t reward content based on importance or validity. It’s up to us to take action, because I guarantee you that Facebook isn’t a help when it comes to information of this nature.
However when it comes to parents on social media, rocks are big. Rocks, actually painted rocks, are really BIG right now on Facebook. So here’s a really BIG ROCK. A big rock that says we need to support education. I would drive that rock around on the back of a trailer if had a big rock and a big truck. But I don’t. So I have a picture of a REALLY BIG ROCK with a REALLY BIG MESSAGE.
That message is to speak up to save education from what is being done in Tallahassee right now. And when you do that, paint a small rock that says “I spoke up for you” and have your child give it to his or her teacher next week. Let’s give teachers rocks that say they matter enough for you to make a call.
- The Recess Bill was modified in the House committee, and so advocates DO NOT support that amended bill that is in the house. WE NEED TO SUPPORT THE SENATE BILL. The original language is now in a Senate Bill about testing and we need to House Speaker to accept this bill and bring it to vote on the House floor. A quick and easy way to email the right people is to go to this link and take one minute to send an email: http://action.all4schools.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=21432
- The budget went in hiding with Sen. Joe Negron and Rep. Richard Corcoran this week for secret negotiations that impact education monies. Read about what happened here in this Tampa Bay Times Story. http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/legislature/so-much-for-unprecedented-openness-as-corcoran-negron-cut-budget-deal-in/2321744. Also read about the movement to take funding away from Title 1 schools. http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/florida-educators-wary-of-title-i-provisions-in-house-proposal/2321640
- Another email from Alliance for Public Education addresses the budget. Take action at this link: http://action.all4schools.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=21983
- House Bill 11 seeks to bust teacher unions, the only organization that speaks for teachers as they negotiate their district contracts. Whether you approve of the big education unions or not, these small, independent, local unions are valuable to the classroom teachers. Tell you senator not to support the union busting bill! http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2017-04-23/house-bill-11-challenges-targets-teacher-unions
- The house also approved a bill that could potentially damage the Florida Retirement System for all those workers already invested. Tell your senator not to vote for the bill that damages FRS. http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2017/04/24/health-and-pension-plans-moving-senate/100862028/
- Another bill will take away a district’s ability to renew the contracts of good teachers. The FEA is against HB 856. Send a pre-made email to the right people at this link: http://feaactioncenter.org/act/retain-good-teachers-no856/
- And last but not least, although the budget is nearly finished, we still have a few days to speak up about the $200 million the House approved for “schools of hope.” The secret budget meeting may find that the Senate will approve this as part of that non-public negotiation. What we need to realize is that this takes TAX MONEY away from public education and early education to fund new charter schools that stand to financially benefit the sponsoring private corporation. It is also noteworthy that Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran has a wife who owns a charter school. Here is the recent editorial from the Times about this subject: http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-corcorans-schools-of-false-hope/2321406