Campaign-style tour will visit more than 30 counties for more than 50 events
ORLANDO — The Florida Education Association (FEA) is taking its campaign on behalf of Florida’s students and public schools on the road. The Fund Our Future Bus Tour kicks off Friday during the FEA 2019 Delegate Assembly. In the first major gathering of FEA members since Florida’s governor announced his new teacher pay plan, approximately 1,000 teachers and school support staff will be in Orlando this weekend to attend the annual conference. Education funding will be a high priority topic at the Delegate Assembly and during the upcoming bus tour.
“We are taking the case for PreK-12 public education and higher education straight to the people — to the parents, students and communities who have been directly impacted by more than two decades of underfunding and poor policy decisions,” said FEA President Fedrick Ingram. “We ask that they stand with us as we call on lawmakers to fund our future. When the Legislature weighs priorities, our students need to be at the top. It is long past time to invest in students, invest in public schools, and invest in the teachers and school support staff needed to educate Florida’s children.”
[Photo and interview opportunities available]
What: Launch of the Fund Our Future Bus Tour
When: 1:15-2:15 p.m. EDT, Friday, Oct. 18
Where: Rear parking area of the Rosen Centre, 9840 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819
Who: FEA President Fedrick Ingram, Vice President Andrew Spar and Secretary-Treasurer Carole Gauronskas, along with local union leaders and other FEA members
Parking: Available at the reduced rate of $8 per day in the Rosen Centre garage; notify attendant that you are attending a Florida Education Association event
Contact: RSVP to Joni Branch, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by text to 850-544-7055, to receive day-of-event updates
The 2019 Delegate Assembly will take place at the Rosen Centre from Thursday, Oct. 17, through Saturday, Oct. 19. Participants will conduct union business, honor outstanding members and attend informational sessions. Featured guest speakers include Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and Princess Moss, secretary-treasurer of the National Education Association (NEA). The FEA Champion of Public Education Award will be presented to state Sen. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville.
On Saturday, the Fund Our Future Bus rolls north to begin a five-week statewide tour. The first stop will be at 9:30 a.m. CDT Oct. 21 at Breakfast Point Academy, Panama City Beach, for a reading and book giveaway. The tour will proceed to crisscross the state, making more than 50 stops at schools and events from Pensacola to the Florida Keys, before wrapping up Nov. 23 at the Florida Classic in Orlando. (Further tour details will be provided in upcoming news releases.)
Fund Our Future is a campaign to urge Florida’s Legislature to invest in public education. After a decade of neglect, where base student funding has fallen by more than $745 per student in inflation-adjusted dollars since the 2007-08 school year, the FEA is calling for a Decade of Progress for public schools. A $22 billion investment over 10 years, starting with a $2.4 billon down payment for the 2020-21 school year, would lift our schools out of the basement of national rankings.
Florida now sits among the bottom 10 states nationally in per-student funding and in pay for our teachers and support staff — teacher’s aides, bus drivers, food-service workers, custodians, office staff and other employees essential to our schools.
The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with more than 145,000 members. FEA represents pre K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational staff professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees.