Florida is currently 41st in the nation in per-student funding for grades K-12, 49th in K-12 spending as a percentage of personal income, and 46th in teacher pay. We are also 50th in the nation in funding for mental health care for adults and children. An increase of $743 per student is needed in order to bring our state to the national average.
On top of that, much-needed resources are being diverted away from traditional public schools in support of privatization (charter schools and private school vouchers). The very existence of public education is at risk.
This lack of funding is having a tremendous impact on our schools. Facilities have suffered as capital funding has been diverted to charter schools (Alachua County stepped up to recoup this funding through the recent Half Cent for Schools referendum). Schools do not have the resources to properly staff ESE programs. Statewide, we have roughly half the number of School Counselors needed to meet the mental health needs of our kids. The statewide teacher shortage is predicted to reach 10,000 vacancies in August of this year. At the state level, we need to start providing our teachers and our schools with the resources and support they need to be successful.
Ways you can help:
- Please wear #REDforED on Wednesday, April 17, and post a selfie showing your support for teachers (tag ACCPTA on Facebook, and we will share). Every Wednesday is #REDforED during legislative session through the end of May.
- Contact your legislators, and ask them to fully fund our schools. We recommend contacting them in multiple ways – email, phone call, social media, and physical letters. Additional talking points can be found here.
- Join ACCPTA and our local Alachua County Educators Association (ACEA) at the School Board meeting on Tuesday, April 16 as the School Board signs a resolution to ask the state to fully fund our schools.
- Share articles and information about #FundOurFutureFL on social media.
- Join FL PTA’s Voter Voice to receive action alerts and be a part of our collective voice.
- Join ACCPTA’s email list to receive additional updates.