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How Florida kneecapped the teaching profession, let me count the ways.

They recently gave teachers a 3% pay cut. They said it was to shore up the pension fund but instead they put the money in the general fund; not that the pension fund needed it because it is one of the healthiest around. Furthermore they are attempting to get rid of pensions for new teachers.

The price of benefits has gone up while pay has gone down, not that the pay when compared to the rest of the nation was all that great to begin with. I have read we are ranked between 47 and 50.

They eliminated what they called tenure but what was really just job protections that took teachers years to earn. Now every employee is an at-will employee and can be let go at any time for just about any reason.

They have tied evaluations to standardized tests scores despite the fact standardized tests scores were never meant to be used that way and experts bemoan the idea.

They have instituted a merit pay system despite overwhelming evidence that says merit pay does not work and the Florida legislature has fought hard against the governors desire to give teachers a 2500 dollar pay raise .

The proliferation of vouchers and charter schools means fewer teachers work in public schools, which has cost of benefits, pay and pension ramifications.

They have allowed Teach for America to creep into the state which says teacher training and education does not matter. They have also said level of education doesn’t matter and many districts have stopped giving pay differentials for advanced degrees.

Then there is the whole demonizing and belittling of teachers, blaming them for things out of their control.

Despite all this tens of thousands of teachers show up every day and do the best they can with what they have which in many cases isn’t a whole lot.

Why has Florida done all these things? Part of the reason is they really hate teacher unions but some powerful folks also want to make money through the privatization of public schools.

The welfare of children never considered.

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