The special legislative session is now underway, and one of the biggest topics to be discussed is education. Some local educators plan to spend the week trying to convince legislators to spare education funding this session.
It is about time that the legislature put the children first and that goes with healthcare, education, crime. We just need to really be concerned about our kids," said Frances Gordon, an A.D. Harris teacher.
Monday afternoon members of the Association of Bay County Educators gathered at their headquarters to kick off the "Cuts Hurt" campaign. The campaign includes Bay, Gulf and Walton County schools.
"We cannot afford any more cuts in education. We're already down to the bone in a lot of our budgets and we simply can't afford for the legislature to come back mid-year and take more money from education," said Brian Phillips, spokesperson for Bay, Gulf and Walton County Education Associations.
During the next week they'll be urging teachers and administrators to contact local legislators and let them know why they think schools should be a priority. They'll also be running radio spots to raise awareness of the education crisis.
"I know it's a tough budget year. I know there have to be budget cuts. We have to tighten our belts so to speak. But on the other hand, there comes a time you can do too much and it does cut into the quality of education our children have," said Candy Parker, ABCE President.
"I'd much prefer saving education and not building as many prisons and prison beds and put our money up front and save that back-expense that we will be looking at for sure if we don't do our jobs well up-front in education," said Ginger Littleton, Bay Co. School Board Chair who attended the campaign kick-off simply for informational purposes.