TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Education Association (FEA) announced today that the organization will recommend that the Florida AFL-CIO endorse U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist as the next governor of Florida. The federation of labor unions is expected to make an endorsement in June.
“There is no question, Charlie Crist will be the best governor for Florida’s students. He is genuinely committed to ensuring that every child gets the education that he or she deserves and needs, no matter that child’s race, background, gender identity, sexual orientation, ZIP code or ability,” said FEA President Andrew Spar. “Certain politicians seek to sow division by pushing false narratives regarding public schools, but parents and educators can trust Crist to address the real problems that affect kids every day, such as Florida’s massive shortage of teachers and support staff. Crist will keep politics out of our classrooms and keep teachers and staff working in our schools.”
Throughout his political career, Crist has been a strong supporter of Florida’s students and public schools. As governor, he stood up to defend teachers from destructive legislation affecting their salaries, evaluations and job security, vetoing SB 6 in 2010. A year later, the changes in SB 6 passed and became law, setting Florida on the path toward the massive teacher shortage that we see today.
After he is elected as governor this fall, Crist pledges to fully fund public schools to ensure that all students have the resources they need to succeed. To address staffing shortages, Crist will:
- Fight to increase average teacher salaries, for both new teachers and for the experienced educators who have been penalized under current laws affecting pay.
- Increase educator retention by allowing experienced teachers to earn multi-year contracts instead of facing termination annually.
- Take practical steps to strengthen the teacher pipeline so that our districts can recruit more educators.
- Value teachers and support staff, and work to develop policies that recognize their worth.
Crucially, the congressman believes in keeping politics out of the classroom. Crist is the clear choice for parents and educators opposed to the efforts of some politicians to impose the politics of division on our public schools. He has committed to working to repeal legislation that harms LGBTQ students and supports teaching the full, fair facts of history.
“I’m incredibly grateful to receive the support of teachers across the Sunshine State as we build a Florida where our educators have the support they need, the pay they deserve, and the safety they, our students, and their parents should be able to count on,” said Crist. “Floridians deserve a governor who will firmly stand with our students and teachers, and work to keep partisan politics out of the classroom. As a former statewide commissioner of education and public school kid, I understand how critical good public schools are for the future of our state. I am honored to earn FEA’s support as we build the movement that will defeat Ron DeSantis.”
CONTACT: Joni Branch, firstname.lastname@example.org, (850) 201-3223
The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with 150,000 members. FEA represents PreK-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational staff professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees.