Duval Teachers United and the Duval County School board have finally negotiated a new contract and I sincerely believe that both sides have done the best they can and should be applauded for all their hard work. Unfortunately, it is a contract where most teachers don’t have work protections and can be fired at the end of any year for any or no reason, and which pays teachers far below the national average and far below what professionals with the same level of education receive, because sadly, that is all the state of Florida allows.
This may also be the last contract that DCSB and DTU negotiate because there is a bill working its way through Tallahassee that would target many teacher’s unions for decertification while leaving police and fire unions exempt which means for a state with a teacher recruitment and retention problem Florida is certainly doing all it can to kneecap the profession and people should start asking why.
There are problems in education but I believe most have been created by people who seek to profit off and privatize education. Tallahassee which has been completely run by the republican party for over two decades often saddles public education with bad policies while starving it of resources and I don’t believe this is what most people want and I point to the twice supported class size amendment as evidence. Overwhelmingly people supported it only to see it basically gutted by the legislature and governor Scott.
I would urge my friends and neighbors that instead of reflexively voting R, they vote for candidates who want to support and improve public education because time and time again the republican party has proven they believe in the opposite.
So thank you DCSB and DTU for doing the best you can do, I just long for a state government which would allow you to do better.