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Thousands ‘Walk-In’ Across Florida, Call on Lawmakers to Fund Our Future

Educators and community members across the state came together on April 17 at their neighborhood public schools and held walk-ins to demonstrate their unyielding support for our students, educators and public schools.

Throughout the state, walk-ins:

  • Took place at more than 500 neighborhood public schools
  • Happened in 46 counties
  • Were attended by more than 12,000 members and parents
  • Visually demonstrated the power of our association and the strength of our voices

The walk-ins showed our students, our communities and our elected officials that Florida educators are standing up for our neighborhood public schools.

“Today we are showing solidarity with our students, our teachers. Walking and showing that we need support for our public schools, our children, our teachers, for everyone that’s involved in the school system,” said Kelly Thomas, a math teacher and Association of Bay County Educators (ABCE) member who has taught for nine years in Bay County. “Without the schools, the community is going to suffer.”

“We are hoping that [lawmakers] will see us. That they will see the students, the parents, the teachers together,” teacher Nancy Velardi said. “Everyone is getting a little fed up with how we’re cut to the bone.” Velardi is a member of the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association.

“We’re not walking away from the children, we’re walking to them,” said Diane Mark, a first-grade teacher in Brevard County for 10 years . “We’re saying [Florida ranking 42nd in per-student spending and 46th in teacher pay] is not good enough,” added Mark, a Brevard Federation of Teachers member. “Our politicians can do better for our students and they need to do better.”

In some counties the walk-ins drew support from school or district administrators:

“I have my red on in support of education funding,” said Michelle Heck, currently the principal of both Meigs Middle School and Choctawhatchee High School. “Both of my staff at both schools were encouraged to participate. I support my teachers at both campuses. It’s just a camaraderie in support to make sure that public education is funded.”

At the end of the busy day, FEA officers and staff went live on Facebook to thank members for their activism that caught the attention of news outlets and lawmakers across the state.

The walk-ins were covered by newspapers and television stations all over the state:

STATEWIDE

Florida Phoenix
It’s not a strike, it’s a “walk-in”: Educators to rally for traditional public schools

TAMPA BAY

Bay News 9, Tampa Bay

Teachers Have “Walk-In” For More Public Education Funding

WTVT-FOX 13, Tampa Bay

Advocates schedule ‘walk-ins’ to support increase in public school funding

WFLA-TV Channel 8, Tampa Bay

Bay area teachers participate in school ‘walk in’ for public school funding

WMNF-FM 88.5, Tampa Bay

Teachers and allies “Walk-In” to support Florida public schools

ORLANDO / LEESBURG

Orlando Sentinel

Orange teachers to join ‘walk in’ for Florida public schools

Leesburg Daily Commercial

Lake schools join statewide protest over education funding

WESH-TV Channel 2, Orlando

Teachers hold ‘walk-ins’ across Florida to protest education funding

WOFL-FOX 35, Orlando

Brevard teachers to hold walk to push for more funding

WOFL-FOX 35, Orlando

Florida teachers stage ‘walk-in’ protest to push more funding

WKMG and ClickOrlando.com

Florida teachers call for increase in education spending with statewide walk-in

JACKSONVILLE / ST. AUGUSTINE

WJXX ABC 25, Jacksonville

St. Johns County participating in statewide ‘walk-in’ to push increased funding need

WJXT News4JAX, Jacksonville

‘Walk-ins’ set for Wednesday at nearly 400 schools

St. Augustine Record

Local teachers make voices heard during walk-in to protest funding, pay

PANAMA CITY

Panama City News Herald

District staff joins statewide ‘walk in’ for education funding

DESTIN / FORT WALTON BEACH

Northwest Florida Daily News

Teachers hold ‘walk-in’ for more state funding

GAINESVILLE

WCJB ABC, Gainesville

Florida education supporters creates campaign to advocate for funding

DAYTONA / PALM COAST / MELBOURNE / VERO

FlaglerLive.com
Teacher and Support Personnel Unions Set to Stage ‘Walk-Ins’ at 8 Flagler Schools Wednesday

Florida Today (Melbourne)

Brevard teachers hold walk-in to bring attention to ‘funding crisis’ in Florida schools

FORT MYERS / NAPLES / SARASOTA / BRADENTON

Bradenton Herald

Southeast High educators ‘walk-in’ for increased funding

WFTX-FOX 4, Southwest Florida

Statewide walk-in protest to increase public school funding

Naples Daily News

Southwest Florida teachers to participate in ‘walk-in’ for school funding

WBBH-NBC2 Fort Myers

Southwest Florida teachers to participate in ‘walk-in’ for school funding

Fort Myers News-Press

South Fort Myers High educators ‘walk in’ for more state funding

Fort Myers News-Press

Lee, Collier educators join statewide ‘walk-in’ for more state funding

WINK-TV CBS, Fort Myers

Teachers ‘walk-in’ to make funding public education a priority

MIAMI / FORT LAUDERDALE

Miami Herald

Florida Keys teachers plan “walk-in” before school Wednesday

1FortLauderdale.com

Florida Keys teachers plan “walk-in” before school Wednesday

OUT OF STATE

The Morning Call, Allentown, Pa.

Orange teachers to join ‘walk in’ for Florida public schools

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
COVID-19

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.

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