ORLANDO, Fla. - Thousands of Florida teachers are expected to be out of the classroom and rallying in front of the state capitol on Monday.
The Brevard Federation of Teachers is getting ready to join teachers from all over the state who will lobby for more funding in Tallahassee on Monday. In Brevard County, 350 teachers and community members will go on the journey north.
“We’ve had over a decade of disinvestment in public education and we’re asking the governor to take a serious look at investing in our public schools,” Vice President of the Brevard Federation of Teachers Vanessa Skipper said.
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The Orange County Classroom Teachers Association said they have at least 350 teachers who also plan to attend the rally in Tallahassee.
“We just want to make sure we have smaller class sizes, better working conditions, and that we can have enough of a salary so we can recruit and retain the best, and experienced teachers we can,” said President of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Wendy Doromal.
Both the Brevard Federation of Teachers and Orange County Classroom Teachers Association say there will be substitutes in each classroom.
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The Polk County Superintendent said 1,600 of their teachers will be out on Monday as well. They say they have found enough substitutes and will have 30 deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office on hand at their schools.
“It's going to be safe and secure. The kids will have a good day at school and the teachers are going to go to Tallahassee and interact with their legislators and, 'hey, that's what government's all about,'” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
The timing of the rally is significant as the legislative session begins this week.
Lawmakers will decide whether or not to move forward with Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposal to increase teacher’s salaries to $47,500, which the Florida Department of Education says would be the largest teacher pay increase in the state’s history.
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“Teachers working conditions are students’ learning conditions,” Skipper said. “If we ignore kids, and we ignore funding and we ignore schools, I’m afraid of what will happen to our society in Florida.”
Tune in to Good Day Orlando on FOX 35 between 4 and 10 a.m. for the latest on the teacher's journey.