Reporting Joan Murray
Legislative Session Coverage
MIAMI (CSB4)- Teachers, parents and students across South Florida and the state will gather in Tallahassee Thursday to try to persuade legislators to restore the previous cuts to education and make provisions for a stable source of funding for education.
The group plans on taking their message of “We are Watching – Fund Education NOW!” to each member of the Legislature.
Buses left from various schools around Miami-Dade County Wednesday to travel, most through the night, to arrive in Tallahassee on Thursday for the Rally at the Capitol.
A group of Broward County school representatives traveled to Tallahassee Wednesday morning to voice their opinion on the state’s budget battle.
The group is hoping to talk to lawmakers about the impact the decision is having on teachers, school administrators and students.
Governor Rick Scott’s proposed $3 billion education budget cut would include eliminating more than 40,000 jobs in the state, many of them teachers. Two weeks ago, lawmakers kicked off the 2011 legislative session in Tallahassee when Scott gave his State of the State address.
Since then, public employees, including various interest groups, have been protesting the proposed cuts.
The Broward Teachers Union is trying to stress the need for additional funding for public schools. They claim that students suffer from the cuts.
“What we don’t like is what’s happening right now,” Pat Santeramo, president of the BTU, said. “Teachers are under attack, public education is under attack, public employees, police, fire fighters, government workers are all under attack. Even our union voice for working families is under attack.”
The group said they hoped to accomplish a lot before returning to South Florida Thursday.
Meanwhile, Scott has signed a bill that would put Florida teachers on merit pay while ending tenure for new hires. Scott went to a charter school in Jacksonville on Thursday to sign the new law that also will chip away at teachers’ due process and collective bargaining rights.
Former Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed a similar bill last year.