Thousands of Floridians Rally for Public Education on January 13

The Take on Tallahassee Rally brought a sea of red-clad public education stakeholders and supporters to Florida’s capital city on Jan. 13. Demonstrators took their case straight to lawmakers’ doorstep, marching from the Civic Center to the Old Capitol to demand improved funding for students and schools, fair pay for all education employees, and an end to the misguided policies that have led to the over-testing of students and the loss of local control in our districts.

The FEA, which organized the rally, is calling for a “Decade of Progress” for our schools, starting with a $2.4 billion investment in public education this legislative session.

“Take on Tallahassee: A Rally for Public Education” drew preK-12 teachers and education staff professionals, higher education faculty, graduate assistants, students, parents, community activists, faith leaders and other public-education supporters from throughout the state. It is estimated that as many as 15,000 took part.

At the Old Capitol, 16 speakers addressed the crowd in a two-hour long program punctuated by audience chants such as “fund our future,” and “the people united will never be defeated.” Tallahassee’s Rickards High School Band provided music.

Along with Florida teachers, students and other education stakeholders, the program featured nationally known leaders including civil-rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton, National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. (For a full list of speakers, see the news release here.)

The rally received extensive media coverage before, during and after the event. From Jan. 6 through Jan. 14, Take on Tallahassee garnered nearly 500 media hits nationally and throughout Florida. News reports appeared in newspapers, on radio and television, and online. Several publications also cited the rally on their opinion pages.

Op-eds and Editorials

Teachers will “Take on Tallahassee” for more respect, boost to school funding, FEA President Fed Ingram, Miami Herald (01/10/2020)

Florida teachers fighting for public education: I stand with you, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, South Florida Sun Sentinel (01/13/2020)

Put Florida’s kids first for a change, with teachers a close second, Editorial, South Florida Sun Sentinel (01/10/2019)

‘Year of the teacher’ in Florida kicks off with threats to fire them, Editorial, Orlando Sentinel (01/13/2010)

National News Coverage

Nationally distributed reports included:

Florida teachers are flooding the state capital to demand billions of dollars in school funding, CNN (01/13/2020)

Florida Ed. Department Threatens to Fire Thousands of Teachers Rallying for Higher PayEducation Week (01/13/2020)

Educators throng Florida Capitol to fight for more moneyThe Associated Press (01/13/2020)

Shouldn’t have to marry a sugar daddy’: Teachers, outraged over pay, rally in Florida capital, USA Today (01/13/2020)

Florida rises up for public education, AFT (01/14/2020)

Educators march in Tallahassee to demand investment in public schools, NEA (01/16/2020)

Florida News Coverage

In-state, the rally was covered by media outlets large and small. Here is a sampling of reports appearing Jan. 13 and over the next few days.

Thousands of teachers turn Tallahassee red as they rally for better education fundingTampa Bay Times + Miami Herald (01/13/2020)

Florida Teachers Take To The Capitol For More Education Funding, Pay HikesWFSU Newsroom (01/13/2020)

Teachers turn Tallahassee red to demand education funding, WTVT Fox Tampa (01/13/2020)

Teachers rally in Tallahassee for higher pay and school fundingSouth Florida Sun Sentinel (01/13/2020)

Florida Teachers Take To The Capitol For More Education Funding, Pay HikesWUSF Tampa (01/14/2020)

St. Lucie County teachers, staff, parents rally for more education funding at Florida Capitol, WPTV NBC 5 West Palm Beach (01/13/2020)

Teachers rally, demand more money for schoolsGainesville Sun (01/13/2020)

Polk shows up in force for statewide teachers’ rally (with video below), Lakeland Ledger (01/13/2020)

Thousands of teachers turn Tallahassee red as they rally for better education fundingMiami Herald + one other publication (01/13/2020)

Thousands of Teachers ‘Take on Tally’ Demanding Pay Raise, WCJB (ABC)-Gainesville (01/13/2020)

Educators throng Florida Capitol to fight for more moneyFlorida Politics (01/13/2020)

Florida teachers ‘Take on Tallahassee’ with march, rally at CapitolWTXL ABC 27 (01/13/2020)

Getting Answers: Rally vs. Strike, Why it Matters for Florida TeachersTampa Bay News 9 (01/13/2020) +1 other publication

‘Teachers deserve better.’ Why thousands of Florida teachers marched in TallahasseeTallahassee Democrat (01/13/2020)  Florida TodayTC Palm + 3 other publications

Pushing for pay hike, teachers rally at Capitol ahead of legislative sessionOrlando Sentinel (01/13/2020)

Thousands of teachers march on Florida Capitol, express outrage over school fundingTallahassee Democrat (01/13/2020) +11 other publications

Legislative Session Starts Tuesday With Governor’s State of the State, WJCT Jacksonville (01/13/2020)

Educators throng Florida Capitol to fight for more moneyWSVN (FOX)-Miami (01/13/2020) +1 other publication

Duval teachers join Rally in Tally while governor visits JacksonvilleThe Florida Times-Union (01/13/2020)

Teachers, union leaders descend on Tallahassee to demand education fundingWTVT Fox Tampa

Educators throng Florida Capitol to fight for more moneyWPLG Channel 10 Miami + 5 other publications

Duval Represents at Capital Rally to Support Public Education, Jacksonville Free Press (01/14/2020)

Florida education news: Teacher pay, college plans and school panic alarmsTampa Bay Times (01/14/2010)

Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politicsFlorida Politics (01/14/2010)

Palm Beach County School District teachers rally in TallahasseeWPBF (ABC)-Palm Beach Gardens (01/14/2020)

Capital Report: 1-14-2020WFSU Newsroom (01/14/2020)

Educators rally in TallahasseeVenice Gondolier (01/14/2020)

Polk shows up in force for statewide teachers’ rallyWinter Haven News Chief (01/14/2020)

Florida Teachers Demand More School Funding, 2020 Presidential Elections & Sundial Book ClubWLRN Miami (01/14/2020)

DeSantis Brushes Off FEA Rally, Touts Public Support For His Teacher Pay PlanWFSU Newsroom (01/14/2020)

A message to the future [letter], Tampa Bay Times (01/14/2020)

DeSantis’s teacher pay plan to get lots of work as session startsSt. Augustine Record (01/14/2020)

Local teacher among thousands at rally in CapitolCitrus County Chronicle (01/14/2020)

Protesters urge lawmakers to make education a priorityFlorida A&M Famuan (01/14/2020)

As Florida public school teachers rally at the state capitol today, some fear punishmentOrlando Weekly (01/14/2020)

Massive Tallahassee rally sets stage for battle over Florida teacher pay raisesCenter Square Florida (01/14/2020)

Reasons thousands of Florida teachers marched in TallahasseeLakeland Ledger + 19 other publications(01/14/2020)


Q&As for Florida Educators

Common questions about school closures, testing, students with IEPs, evaluations, certifications and more. Updated 3/31.

Digital Learning Resources for Educators and Parents

Resources for engaging students during the school closure

FEA Statewide Town Hall on COVID-19 

Video and transcript of March 25 town hall on the impact of coronavirus on Florida’s public education system.

Q&As and Resources for Parents

Common questions and resources for parents — including links for meals for students in need.

Advocacy Updates for

Ways for members to take action to protect students, educators, healthcare professionals and working people.

Member Benefit Resources and Links

Overview of the additional resources our benefit partners are providing to help members deal with the COVID pandemic. Updated 4/20 with Student Loan Forgiveness information.

AFL-CIO Survival Guide for Unemployment

A PDF guide for working people facing unemployment.

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