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Opinion
Palm Coast Tuesday, Apr. 2, 2019 3 weeks ago

As teaching vacancies balloon, Florida Senate hopes to give per-student spending a boost

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Flagler teachers union president supports Florida Senate education bill.
by: Guest Writer

Dear Editor:

Like many states across the country this year, Florida hasn’t been able to recruit enough new educators to fill all of our classrooms. This school year started with 4,000 teaching vacancies throughout the state, and that number is expected to explode to an alarming 10,300 teaching vacancies by the start of the next school year.

Educator shortages are the symptom of a larger problem that has plagued Florida’s public schools for years: a lack of resources due to chronic underfunding.

I have been an educator in the classroom of Flagler County Schools for over 15 years, and during that time I have seen lawmakers starve our public schools and let educator salaries slide to 46th in the nation, as compared to 29th in 2005-2006. That’s why I was so excited to see the education budget bill introduced in the Florida Senate, which makes the first real increase to per-pupil funding in our public schools in a decade.

The authors of the Senate education budget bill understand that the students we are educating today are the business owners and thought leaders of Florida’s tomorrow. Anyone who believes in public education should support this bill and fight against efforts to weaken it or reduce funding for public education.

Katie Hansen

President, Flagler County Educators Association

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