ORLANDO — First there was the “Take on Tallahassee” rally on Jan. 13. Now “The Rally Continues” in Orlando on Feb. 15, when educators, students, parents and community members from throughout Central Florida will gather to advocate for improved funding for public education.
Educators from Brevard, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia counties will participate. The presidents of local unions in these districts joined together to plan the event, which is expected to draw at least 1,500 people.
What: “Central Florida — The Rally Continues” for public education
Who: Educators, students, parents and community members
When: 1-3 p.m. EST Feb. 15, 2020
Where: Lake Eola Park, 512 E. Washington St., downtown Orlando
- Brevard Federation of Teachers, Anthony Colucci, (321) 759-6356
- Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association, Rob Kriete, (813) 238-7902
- Indian River County Education Association, Liz Cannon, (772) 567-1066
- Lake County Education Association, Stuart Klatte, (352) 787-2050
- Orange County Classroom Teachers Association, Wendy Doromal, (407) 405-6137
- Orange Education Staff Professional Association, Ron Pollard, (407) 270-4743
- Osceola County Education Association, Apryle Jackson, (407) 870-4648
- Polk Education Association, Stephanie Yocum, (863) 533-0908
- Seminole County Bus Drivers Association, Angel Diaz, (407) 388-1131
- Seminole Education Association, Dan Smith, (407) 388-1131
- Seminole Educational Clerical Association, Maria Guerrido, (407) 388-1131
- Non-Instructional Personnel of Seminole County, Carlos Crispin Jr., (407) 388-1131
- United Faculty of Florida at UCF, Scott Launier, (321) 225- 2080
- Student FEA – UCF, Kaitlyn Montcrieff, (407) 782-8383
- Volusia United Educators, Elizabeth Albert, (386) 238-1605
Wendy Doromal, president of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association, made the trip to Tallahassee on Jan. 13 along with members of her Education Justice Alliance. She is excited about the upcoming rally.
“After the rally in Tallahassee, the momentum continues as educators and all public school employees ask the Legislature to fund our future,” Doromal said. “We will be gathering at Lake Eola to let policy makers know that we want to make sure this is really the ‘Year of the Teacher.’
“On February 15th, Valentine weekend, we invite everyone to show some love for students, educators and public education.”
Anthony Colucci, president of the Brevard Federation of Teachers, also took part in the Jan. 13 rally in Tallahassee and is part of the team organizing the Orlando event.
“On January 13th, 15,000 teachers, parents, students and community members rallied in Tallahassee to insist that legislators improve the abysmal level of funding for public education,” Colucci said. “On February 15th, the rally continues in Central Florida in order to let our local legislators know it’s time to fund our future!”
The Tallahassee and Orlando rallies are part of the larger Fund Our Future campaign started by the Florida Education Association (FEA) in 2019. The campaign, with local and statewide actions, has pushed for student success, investment in public schools, and retention and recruitment of educators.
Participating local unions represent preK-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational staff professionals and college students preparing to become teachers. The unions are affiliates of the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest association of professional employees, with more than 145,000 members.