Visiting South Florida, president of the national teachers’ union says education is over-politicized

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten visited South Florida on Wednesday to denounce what she called an “assault on public education” by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

At Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, one of the schools she attended during her trip, Weingarten promoted the school’s robotics program.

“We see programs that work for kids,” Weingarten said. “What we have to do is lift up all the children. We don’t have to share.”

She accuses the governor of being driven by political ambitions and culture wars. She pointed to the Miami-Dade school board recent vote against recognizing LGBTQ History Month.

“The Miami-Dade board is scared now and that’s why they did what they did,” Weingarten said.

It was a move that even some school board members say was spurred by the Parents’ Rights in Education Act, known by critics as the Don’t Say Gay bill.

But the governor says it’s about the rights of parents to choose what their children learn.

“They are cutting public schools,” Weingarten said. “They make it harder to teach honest history, voting rights and the New Deal.”

Union leaders say new laws have created an environment where people don’t want to become teachers, in part, they say, why districts have a hard time hiring new workers.

“We see fear,” said Anna Fusco, president of the Broward Teachers Union.

Fear and loss of local control, they said. Especially in Broward, where the governor is now majority appointed the county school board after his suspension elected officer according to a scathing grand jury report who accused them of incompetence and neglect of duty.

“He replaced them with four Republican men who could never be elected in a county like Broward County,” said Antonio White, first vice president of United Teachers of Dade.

Copyright 2022 by WPLG – All rights reserved. Visiting South Florida, president of the national teachers’ union says education is over-politicized

Sarah Y. Kim

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