A Time for Choosing for Florida’s Teachers & Parents – Top 3 Takeaways – January 25th, 2023
- It’s a time for choosing for Florida’s educators. With additional rights comes additional choice. And as Governor DeSantis has introduced his ‘Teachers’ Bill of Rights’, he’s put Florida’s teachers’ unions on notice that systemic change is coming. But he’s also created a new time for choosing for Florida’s teachers. What’s one’s reason for being in public education? Is one’s vision consistent with that of the Florida Department of Education or the American Federation of Teachers? I’ve never made any bones about it. One of the biggest threats to our society is and has been the impact of teachers’ unions. And that’s been as present in Florida as anywhere. Lest we forget what was being debated less than a year ago over Florida’s parental rights in education? Here’s a refresher based on what I provided to you on March 31st of last year, during the peak over the fight in Florida’s Parental Rights in Education legislation. They’ve lost credibility and the benefit of the doubt they’ll do the right thing based on their own judgement. I’m talking about the education establishment; I’m talking about most teachers. As the rhetorical battle over Florida’s Parental Rights in Education legislation continues to be waged, we have the facts to consider. I brought you the unfiltered law which obliterates the don’t say gay narrative. Now let’s take the next step in this conversation. Have public school educators demonstrated they’ll act in our children’s best interests or error on the side of their self-interests and political agendas? 78% of Florida’s public-school teachers are members of a union whose parent is the American Federation of Teachers. The teachers' unions repeatedly sued to keep classroom education closed in Florida all throughout the fall of 2020 – only ending the effort in January of 2021 after having lost a series of legal decisions over the course of six months. In fact, children who were remote learning, as opposed to going to the classroom for education, contracted COVID-19 at a rate that was three times higher than those who were in the classroom. This is on top of the fact that fewer than 20% of students who engaged in remote learning maintained the same level of learning as those in the classroom. So, you had Florida’s teachers sue for six months to attempt to provide lower quality education, worse results for students and higher COVID-19 contagion risk. But that’s just one example. Then you had Critical Race Theory. When the Florida Board of Education banned the teaching of the principals of Critical Race Theory in schools, the American Federation of Teachers pledged to fight the state and to teach the CRT agenda. Subsequently, numerous teachers signed a Zinn Project Pledge to teach CRT in Florida’s schools in violation of state law. But wait, there’s still more because we had (the) school mask mandate fiasco. The CDC dropped their school mask guidance for students. Immediately the American Federation of Teachers demanded the CDC reinstitute the recommendation which they did. Then, despite state law mandating parents having the option of opting their students out of mask mandates, 12 school districts, including South Florida’s blatantly violated state law and heeded the call of the teachers’ union instead.
- That’s two years and three examples of how 78% of Florida’s public-school educators have fought against the best interests of our children. They’ve lost credibility, and thus in the middle of a culture war in which our children are being sexualized at alarming rates, and at a time in which teenagers in our schools are identifying as being gay at rates that are far higher than any ages of adults, and at rates that are five times higher than studied homosexual behavior. Something’s happening in our culture and in our schools that’s a historical outlier. There aren’t magically multiples more homosexuals in our society – and no one else discussing this issue is discussing this aspect of the issue. Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Legislation is necessary because our educators have lost credibility that they’ll do the right thing for our children. They’ve proven they’re far more interested in their own agendas and that of the national union to which they pay their dues. We’re fortunate to be in a great state with a great governor who is willing to lead on these issues and fight for our rights. And now, this year, after having successfully fought all of those other battles for educational rights, DeSantis is taking the fight to the belly of the beast by proposing legislation aimed at lessening the influence teachers’ unions can have over teachers in our state. The question is how many of those teachers will take advantage of the choice? I’ve long called on teachers to leave their unions and to not continue to be part of the problem with public education in our state and across the country. I’m happy to say there has been progress. Last year the Florida Education Association shed 3.3% of its members and current figures suggest 6% of Florida’s teachers in unions three years ago no longer are. The flip side of that conversation is that approximately 72% of public-school teachers continue to be. So yeah, as Florida fights for a teachers’ bill of rights how many will choose to take advantage? Conversely, how many will continue to choose to be part of the problem? But speaking of choice...
- It’ll be a time for choosing for parents as well once Florida’s universal school choice measures will be passed as well. And if you’re thinking about the choice, and thus perhaps the agenda, of the educators who are educating our kids, here’s food for thought. 73% of all traditional public-school teachers are in a union. Just 24% of Charter school teachers are in one, while no major union is involved with teachers in private education. There are clearly three very different educational lanes in this regard. And with universal school choice likely to be passed in the upcoming session, options which might not have been affordable for many families likely will be. Here’s what I’ll tell you from my perspective. It wasn’t in God’s plans for Ashley and me to have children, however if we did, I’d never choose to put my child in a classroom with a teacher who is a member of a union. Last year was the year of parental rights in Florida. This year will prove to be the year of choice – for parents and educators.