Teachers, Support Staff, Students Rally in Tallahassee

By: Kristy Wolski Email
By: Kristy Wolski Email

Thousands flooded the state's capitol Wednesday to try to persuade legislators to stop cutting funds from the future of America, students. Going into the rally, some felt lawmakers were insensitive to their concerns.
"I felt like that some of our representation kind of passed us off and ignored us a little bit. We'll remember that when election day comes back around," said Alicia Godwin, Port St. Joe Elem. Teacher.
Teachers and support personnel from Bay and Gulf counties brought along a handful of students who are part of Future Educators of America.
"The teaching profession or the education profession is a very noble profession and so when you have kids that want to follow in your footsteps it's kind of hard to tell them that the outlook for their occupation is good, when you know that it's really not. Especially in times like this when you have a budget crisis, it's not looking good for our occupation," said Lora McCalister-Cruel, Mosley High Teacher.
The students say it's disappointing.
"I've looked into other careers besides just teaching because of the negative outlook on it," said Justin Collins, Mosley High F.E.A. Member.
"They're spending money on prisons and things like that when it costs so much less to educate a child for a day," said Kaisey Boutwell, Mosley High F.E.A. Member.
The rally also served another purpose. Educators collected more than 2.6 million pennies in hopes of convincing legislators to pass a penny sales tax earmarked for education. The question is whether legislators will support it.
"We have too many things at stake here. The lives of 2.6 million public students in K-12 and another 800,000 in our state colleges and universities. The legislature has to pay attention to what they're about to do to the next generation," said Andy Ford, President of the Florida Educators Association.
The proposed sales tax would sunset after 3 years and is expected to bring in more than 9 billion dollars for public education.

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