Andrew Spar, President of the Florida Education Association joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast on Tuesday, December 15.
Spar discussed school funding in Florida, unsafe conditions in schools, how Florida teachers have been navigating the pandemic, and the division in opinions surrounding the COVID-19 vaccination.
Public education has been underfunded for years and the schools, teachers, and students deserve better. Spar stated that Florida leads the nation in diverting money to private schools, leaving public schools out to fend for themselves.
He added that there is no accountability in Florida when it comes to school voucher programs. Public schools are so underfunded and they create a hazardous environment to the teachers, staff, and students. Having lawmakers draw up a bill that would provide adequate funding for these schools is essential for the children to receive the education they deserve in a safe environment.
Navigating the pandemic
Spar discussed how the pandemic affected teachers in Florida. He explained the extra efforts teachers put forth to adjust to new safety regulations in their classrooms. Once the Florida governor reopened schools, Spar said teachers were still overwhelmed and seemingly underprepared.
With the COVID-19 vaccine being distributed, it is only a matter of time until teachers can get vaccinated. With how frequently teachers interact with others, they would seemingly need the vaccination to stay safe. Spar explained how the COVID-19 virus has become so politicized and that there is a division in opinions on whether or not teachers are going to willingly take the vaccination.
Lastly, Spar discussed the attacks on unions and how people are trying to take away the collective voice of the teachers.