Florida’s students are facing a healthcare crisis. A recent report from the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University shows that Florida has an estimated 325,000 children without insurance, which is an uninsured rate of 7.3%.
Any educator can tell you that when students are not feeling well, it is much more difficult for them to learn. But, it is not just educators’ common sense that tells us this. There is plenty of research as well. One of the core messages of the Center for Disease Control’s Health and Academic Achievement report is, “Healthy students are better on all levels of academic achievement: academic performance, education behavior, and cognitive skills and attitudes.”
As educators, we recognize that in order to meet students’ academic needs, we must ensure that their physical and mental health needs are taken care of as well. This is why we cannot support a system that treats healthcare as a privilege; we must insist that access to healthcare is a right for all students and for all Americans.
This is why we join with both of our national unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, as well as the AFL-CIO to support federal legislation which is why we support legislation that guarantees health care as a human right through an improved Medicare for All.