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Teachers Union Prepares for Session

By: Jill Chandler Email
By: Jill Chandler Email

Florida lawmakers will get down to business in one week and educators are not only staring down big budget cuts, but changes that could hit them in the wallet personally.

We sat down with a spokesman for Florida's biggest teachers union to see what's at the top of its priority list.

Teachers from across the state are worried. If passed, some of the bills include changing the evaluation and pay system for teachers, a 10% cut in pay, would mandate state workers and teachers to contribute to their pension plan, and one bill would restrict unions in the state of Florida.

Education Week, a trade publication for teachers, came out with a study earlier this month that ranks Florida fifth in the nation in quality of education.

Florida Education Association spokesperson Mark Pudlow says despite the cutbacks, Florida is improving with the help of dedicated teachers. He said he doesn't know how they expect the state to move forward when they have already cut so much from the budget.

"You're kind of expecting us to do more with less, and it just can't continue. We need to make an investment in our children, we need to make an investment to try and improve public education, in all levels, from pre-K to the university system," said Pudlow.

The FEA said teachers are planning on rallying, and they hope people take the time to write to their legislators and take action back home.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has proposed almost three billion dollars in cuts to education. Many educators will be at the Capitol for the "Awake the State" rally next Tuesday, March 8th.


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