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Florida lawmakers get an ‘F’

 

If teachers had a way to grade politicians on education, the grade would be an “F.” How could this be? For starters, remember when Gov. Scott promised every teacher would receive a bonus of $2,500? Never happened.

Remember when he promised he would increase education funding. He decreased it, instead, and replaced the funding and called it an increase. And the Republican Party claims that Charlie Crist flip-flops?

Teachers are tired and are burning out. Funding for education in Florida is pitiful. The last rankings in per-pupil funding put the state at 47th in the nation. Yet, our teachers are producing excellent students who can take FCAT exams. Is this what education is about? Excellent test takers?

Politicians are illiterate when it comes to education and what really helps a child learn creatively. Teachers, working with the parents, need to be in charge, not the politicians.

To add insult to injury, the original $2,500 promised to teachers became a paltry $1,040 before taxes! This money was to be distributed before Christmas so that teachers could have some money for the holidays, at the least. Did this happen? Nope. There’s no respect for teachers here. Finally, on Feb. 7, pay day, 20,000 educators received Gov. Scott’s promised bonus pay. The amount before taxes ranges from $895.40 to $250. Our only savior was the union. It jumped in and made the school system correct the error. No apologies from the school system received. Teachers will have to wait another two weeks to make up the paltry difference. Teachers who spend thousands of dollars of their own money on school supplies to provide students with materials, clothing and, sometimes, lunch.

Politicians should leave teaching to the teachers, and protect and reward them. They shouldn’t insult them and make false promises. The Republican agenda is to turn our public education system into the Walmart of tomorrow.

Joseph Hernandez, school psychologist and Barry University professor, Miami

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