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Monday, July 12, 2021

Florida treats its public school teachers like second class citizens, it's past time we said enough?

Anybody know a lawyer willing to take on the state of Florida on behalf of its public school teachers? I have to recertify this year (see the letter below), and one of my colleagues just lost their job because they didn't pass the math portion of the general knowledge test in time.  Nothing too unusual until you consider that teachers in the state's voucher schools don't have to have certifications, recertify or take any of the tests that public school teachers annually spend millions on. Both systems are paid for with public money, but only in public schools are their requirements and penalties. 

If I don't recertify, I will be out of a job. If public school teachers don't fulfill this ESE requirement, that ESOL requirement, or for some a reading requirement by an arbitrary deadline, they will be out of a job. Not in our voucher schools, though; they don't have to pay for or take any tests. 

Public school teachers have to use their time and money to get and keep their jobs, while teachers at voucher schools don't. Both are paid for by the public, but both have different rules. Not only is that not fair, but as I read it, it violates the state constitution, which says. 

The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education...

How is having two systems efficient, let alone uniform? The answer is it's not, and it is unfair, especially to public school teachers. 

There are obvious solutions, every teacher paid for with public money either has to get certified or doesn't, but one group shouldn't have to spend what little money they have to while the other doesn't.  

It's time to go to court. Anyone know a lawyer? 

No voucher school teacher will get the letter I got below.

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