Florida Educators Endorse Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate
Tampa, FL — Pointing to his unwavering support of public schools and public education employees, the Florida Education Association along with the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers endorsed the reelection campaign of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson on Wednesday in Tampa.
“I am honored to have the support of the hardworking educators who have dedicated their careers to better the lives of our children by spending countless hours and often their own resources to ensure Florida students have the opportunity to learn, thrive and grow,” Senator Nelson said. “Our children deserve a quality public education regardless of their zip code or family’s income and these educators work every day to make this a reality. I’ve always worked to put Florida teachers and teachers first and will continue to fight to make educating the future of Florida and our country a priority in the U.S Senate.”
Senator Nelson met with current and retired educators and support personnel at the Hillsborough Teachers Union Hall on Wednesday to discuss the importance of public education funding, teacher pay and supporting our students to invest in the future of Florida. With the new school year beginning, they talked about challenges and about funding for school safety, educating immigrant students, and other issues facing Florida educators and schools.
“Senator Nelson knows and appreciates the value of our public schools and public school educators,” said Florida Education Association President Joanne McCall. “We stand with Bill Nelson because he has been a steadfast supporter of our students, teachers, support staff and schools, and has fought for funding for programs to assist some of Florida’s most vulnerable students.”
Nelson is a longtime champion of public education, education funding, and fair pay for teachers and other staff that are crucial to the operation of our schools including secretaries, bus drivers, cafeteria and maintenance workers, janitors, counselors, and teacher’s aides. The senator met with parents and education leaders, including teachers, administrators and school board members, in South Florida on Monday.
With the school year beginning this month and the realities of funding and safety taking the forefront once again, the contrast between Senator Nelson and his opponent could not be more evident.
Rick Scott led the push to cut education funding, slashing $1.3 billion in K-12 education funding in his first year alone. With him in office, Florida earned an F in school spending in a recently released Education Week analysis, and our state ranks 45th in the nation for teacher pay, more than $12,000 below the national average, according to National Education Association statistics. Scott has also forced unfunded mandates that result in limited funds for educator pay and student resources.