Teachers protest education cuts
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WSVN) -- Dozens of Miami-Dade teachers are protesting proposed cuts to education.
Teachers and students are angry with Florida's new governor, Rick Scott. They complain he is trying to slash billions of dollars from the education budget.
"I would say, 'Listen,' not in a rude way but in a very firm way that, 'Yes, we are students but we can make a difference, and with all these people out here, he should listen to us because this is important to us," said fifth grader Hannah Rosenthal.
Thursday afternoon, dozens of teachers held signs and protested in the area of Northwest 183rd Street and 27th Avenue. About 18 other protests also took place throughout Miami-Dade.
The teachers gathered together to protest Senate bill 736, which attempts to tie teachers' pay to test scores. This bill is very similar to the bill former governor Charlie Crist vetoed last year.
"This bill puts an additional unfunded mandate on our district to spend millions of dollars developing tests, not to help students, not to help teachers in planning their lessons but in order to rank teachers," said Karen Aronowitz with the United Teachers of Dade.
The governor wants to cut about $5.5 billion from next year's fiscal budget, and $3.3 million will come out of education. Teachers are concerned that this will mean that some of them will lose their jobs and class sizes will increase. The teachers said, at the end of the day, it all comes down to protecting our children.
"I'm asking for your support, I'm asking the governor, and my fellow teachers here are asking for his support," said Rita Trouzet. "Don't cut it from here, find somewhere else."
A spokesperson from the Miami-Dade County school district issued a statement: "In light of current budget proposals, it is easy to understand the teachers' frustrations. But, it is unfortunate that the union leadership would choose to schedule their protests at a time when our schools are being honored in the national spotlight for their remarkable academic achievements."
Teachers will head to Tallahassee next week to express their concern. Teachers also plan to rally on Friday when the president visits South Florida.
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