Locals protest Scott's education budget cuts
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Hundreds of educators and students are protesting against the $3 billion education budget cuts proposed by Governor Rick Scott.
On Tuesday, lawmakers kicked off their 2011 legislative session in Tallahassee, and Scott gave his first State of the State address.
Meanwhile, demonstrators across South Florida are outraged by the governor's spending plan. "Public school teachers are part of the middle class as well as firefighters," said elementary school teacher Charlie Silpes. "We're here with nurses, we're here with police officers. Of course it's an assault to the class."
Now, public employees are fighting back. "That is the voice we're going to carry to Tallahassee as a united community that seeks to protect public education, not for us, but for the kids," said Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Members of various interest groups demonstrated in front of the Stephen P. Clark building in downtown Miami to preserve state services for the disabled. "We want to have the help that we need," said Donna Hulkomb, "and I'm begging."
In Fort Lauderdale, teachers and other public employees rallied against what they say is an attack by the Rick Scott administration. "They're putting their misfortune of a deficit that they created on the backs of public employees," said Broward Teachers Union's Pat Santeramo, "and taking it out of pockets of working families, and that's just shameful on the part of this governor."
Back in Miami, the crowd made mass calls to lawmakers in an effort to make their voices heard beyond the governor's administration. "I'm not concerned about Rick Scott. He's the governor for four years, for good or for ill," said United Teachers of Dade's Karen Aronowitz. "What I'm concerned about is that these legislators listen to the voices of their community."
Many members of various unions are headed to Tallahassee for the legislative session.
Meanwhile, the United Teachers of Dade is planning a walk-in on Mar. 31, where members of the public will come to the schools to show their support.
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