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Florida Education Association Embarks On Thirty County Tour

Fund Our Future Bus
Joni Branch
Florida Education Association

The Florida Education Association is visiting 30 counties and advocating for better funding for public education. They will make 50 stops on the tour. President Fedrick Ingram, says he is going directly to the people most affected by the decades of underfunding for public schools.

"We know that we’re 46th in the nation in teacher pay in the nation. We’re 43rd in per pupil spending in the nation and that’s something we should not be proud of and our citizenry stand for," says Ingram.

Ingram says low pay not only effects teachers but bus drivers, and paraprofessionals in the school system. The FEA has called for a $22 billion investment into the state’s public schools over the next 10 years. During the tour Ingram says they will talk about is teacher shortage.

“We’re talking about retaining and recruiting educators. We have a teacher crisis in the state of Florida," explains Ingram. "Meaning that we don’t have enough teachers for the classrooms that we have in our public schools. For the last three years we’ve had our public schools statewide start with 3,000 classrooms that did not have a certified teacher.”

He says that ultimately effects students. The FEA wants the legislature to put an additional 2.4 billion dollars toward education next year.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.