Teaching Profession

State Journal

October 03, 2001 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Roadside Attractions

“Wanted: Teachers and support personnel for Florida public schools. Below-average salary, overcrowded classrooms, benefits reduced annually. Apply to Governor Jeb Bush.”

Gov. Jeb Bush

Thus read six roadside billboards across the Sunshine State, placed by the Florida Education Association. The blunt criticism comes as Gov. Bush begins his campaign for re-election in November 2002. Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno is seen as his most likely Democratic opponent.

The FEA feels Florida has failed to spend enough on education under Gov. Bush’s watch, said David Clark, a spokesman for the Tallahassee-based union.

Union leaders complain that Gov. Bush has spent too little on early-childhood programs, has let the state slip to 31st nationally in average teacher pay, and has not worked to make classes smaller—charges the GOP governor disputes.

In response to the billboards, Gov. Bush accused the union of being purely partisan, and said union dues were used for attempts to thwart his education initiatives.

“That’s what those hard-earned union dues are paying for,” the governor said in a campaign statement. “They are a partisan political operation, and for anyone to suggest otherwise isn’t facing reality.”

Amid such complaints by Republicans about the FEA’s political alignment with Democrats, the union reacted strongly to a proposal by Commissioner of Education Charlie Crist about deductions from union members’ paychecks.

The Republican commissioner had called for withholding state funding from school districts if they failed to prove that deductions from union members’ paychecks were not being used by the union for political activities. Mr. Crist has since backed off that proposal.

—Alan Richard

Related Tags:


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Teachers to Admin: You Can Help Make Our Jobs Easier
On social media, teachers add to the discussion of what it will take to improve morale.
3 min read
Vector graphic of 4 chat bubbles with floating quotation marks and hearts and thumbs up social media icons.
Teaching Profession Missy Testerman Makes Immigrant Students Feel Welcome. She's the National Teacher of the Year
The K-8 teacher prioritizes inclusion and connection in her work teaching English as a second language.
5 min read
Missy Testerman
At Rogersville City School in Rogersville, Tenn., Missy Testerman teaches K-8 students who do not speak English as their first language and supports them in all academic areas. She's the 2024 National Teacher of the Year.
Courtesy of Tennessee State Department of Education
Teaching Profession Teachers: Calculate Your Tax-Deductible Expenses
The IRS caps its annual educator expense deduction at $300. This calculator allows teachers to see how out-of-pocket spending compares.
1 min read
Figure with tax deduction paper, banking data, financial report, money revenue, professional accountant manager abstract metaphor.
Visual Generation/iStock
Teaching Profession Opinion All About Teacher Observations: How to Get Them Right
Educators and other experts offer a decade’s worth of insight on the highs and lows of teacher observations.
5 min read
Collage of a blurred classroom with a magnifying glass over the teacher, sheets of note paper,  and a tight crop of a woman in the foreground holding a clipboard.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week via Canva