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Governor’s budget proposal fails to meet the needs of public schools and students

Florida’s public schools are amid a crisis that threatens the future for Florida’s students and our democracy. Yet, today Gov. DeSantis proposed a budget that fails to meet the needs of Florida’s students and ultimately Florida’s future. With nearly 90% of students attending Florida’s public schools, it is past time for the governor to allocate adequate provisions to ensure their future. A recent poll conducted by Clearview Research on behalf of the Florida Education Association confirmed voters want strong public schools that offer students a diverse and well-rounded curriculum. The poll shows that voters are frustrated with the governor’s divisive approach to education. Fifty-five percent of voters feel public education in Florida is on the wrong track while only 26% believe schools are on the right track.

Voters want to see more done to address the massive teacher and staff shortage. Voters made it clear that Florida teachers should be paid more, with 86% believing that pay for Florida’s teachers should rank in the top 10 nationally. Only 10% of voters disagree with that goal. “Florida voters know the importance of supporting all teachers and staff who work in Florida’s public schools,” said Andrew Spar, President of the Florida Education Association. “The governor’s proposal today made it clear he will continue to devalue Florida’s hard-working educators.”

The Governor’s focus on divisive policies runs counter to what voters want to see in their public schools. “Voters want strong public schools for every child, and they do not support the Governor’s continued divisive tactics,” Spar added. “Voters want schools that offer more Advanced Placement courses, something the Governor has blocked, they want more career and technical education classes, more music, art and physical education classes and they want public schools teaching about Americans with diverse backgrounds and different lifestyles.”

The poll found that 60% of voters agree with the statement “Public schools must offer a diverse and comprehensive curriculum that allows students to see themselves in their learning. Courses that allow students to experience and understand the various cultures and lifestyles that makeup America are needed to ensure we have the best-educated citizens.” Whereas only 33% believed this statement – “Public schools should just stick to teaching reading, writing, and math. Courses highlighting the importance of Black, Hispanic, or LGBTQ Americans are biased and should not be offered in Florida public schools as they interfere with the education of Florida’s students.”

The poll of 1,001 voters was conducted October 27 – November 5. The Florida Education Association has called on the Governor and Lawmakers to increase funding for public schools by $2.5 billion a year for the next 7 years. If done, Florida would move from 45th in the nation in funding to the top 10 in the nation and provide funding to move the pay of teachers and staff to the top 10 in the nation as well.

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CONTACT: FEA Press, feapress@floridaea.org, (850) 201-3223


The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with 120,000 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.

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