Florida House Democrats Denounce Defunding Public Education

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Immediately following the announcement of House Bill 1 (2023), Florida House Democrats held a press conference in response its introduction.

“This is a continuation of Republican attacks on our public education system that helped create the American Dream by providing education to the poor and rich alike,” said Leader Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa) on the proposed HB 1 (2023). “Despite the Speaker’s claims of bettering teacher pay and increasing funding, Florida is still at the bottom when it comes to school funding and teacher pay. Florida ranks 48th in the nation when it comes to teacher salary. That is abysmal. We should be focusing on fixing public education, not breaking it.”

Also speaking at this morning’s press conference were Representative Felicia Robinson (D-Miami Gardens), who spoke on the lack of accountability in Florida’s school voucher program; Representative Allison Tant (D-Tallahassee), who spoke about parents of disabled children’s concerns on their child not receiving quality education promised in voucher schools, as well as voucher schools failing rural families in her district, leaving them without options; Representative Michele Rayner-Goolsby (D-St. Petersburg), who spoke on the 2.8 million public school students and their families being left without the choice of quality public school education; Representative Ashley Gantt (D-Miami) who spoke first-hand on the increased burden underpaid public school educators face as voucher schools continually leave students behind; and Representative Yvonne Hinson (D-Gainesville) who spoke on public schools of choice and this bill’s negative impact on district funding.

The full press conference can be replayed any time via The Florida Channel’s archive.

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