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ICYMI: Under Republican Leadership, Florida is 50th in the Nation in Teacher Pay and Has a Crippling Teacher Shortage

Last month, the National Education Association released a report showing that Florida ranks 50th in the nation in teacher pay. This comes on the heels of a March report from the Annenberg Institute showing that Florida has the highest number of teacher vacancies in the nation.

“As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, it’s clear that thirty years of Republican attacks on education have had serious consequences,” said FDP Chair Nikki Fried. “We’re losing teachers to higher-paying states at an unacceptable rate because Republicans care more about made-up culture wars than the fight for fair wages — that’s why we’re 50th in the nation for teacher pay. Educators are a gift to our communities and do one of the hardest jobs on the planet. They deserve nothing less than our respect and a living wage.”

More Coverage:

Palm Beach Post: ”National ranking of teacher pay spells bad news for Florida Educators…

– “Once again, despite a thriving economy, Florida is failing to prioritize the needs of students by not fairly compensating teachers and staff,” said Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association.
Spar blamed a mentality in the Legislature “that teachers in Florida should just shut up and be quiet.”
The report shows that both starting teacher pay and average teacher pay come in far below what’s considered a livable wage in Florida, which is $58,970 per year.

WSVN: “United Teachers of Dade call for legislative action on teacher shortage at news conference”
With a significant teacher shortage affecting the state, UTD is urging the Florida legislature to take immediate action to alleviate the situation.
“I can’t live anymore. I can’t move from Miami, my family lives here. So it’s either we get paid more or you’re going to lose a lot of really good teachers,” said Renee O’Connor.
This call to action comes at a critical time as the legislature has been focusing resources on private and religious schools, handing out billions despite the growing needs within public education.

Miami Herald: “Florida launched an assault on workers’ rights. Miami-Dade teachers are fighting back | OPINION” by Karla Hernández-Mats
“We know that Tallahassee legislators will continue their campaign to defund public education and weaken workers’ rights. But even as state agencies and legislators threaten our rights, they fuel a powerful backlash from educators, support staff and parents.”
“With so many important Florida institutions weakened or captured by the influence of wealthy, right-wing extremists, unions like UTD are effectively the only check left on state power.”

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