Broward Teachers Union Protesting Tonight Over 1,400 Teacher Firings, Budget Spending

Categories: Activism
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The K.C. Wright Building in downtown Fort Lauderdale will play home to a lot of angry teachers tonight.

Broward Teachers Union communications director John Ristow tells New Times that tonight's protest -- geared toward teacher layoffs and alleged budget mismanagement by the Broward School Board -- could be one of the largest protests in downtown Fort Lauderdale in recent history.

"Their anger is really fueled by the fact that Miami-Dade schools, despite having the same budget as Broward schools, will be laying off no teachers this year," Ristow says. "When you see such a staggering number of teachers sent to the unemployment lines, you see people extremely upset."

Ristow says the budget mismanagement led to the termination of 1,400 teachers last week, with Broward School District officials "promising more layoffs to come."

As a result, the union's national affiliate -- American Federation of Teachers -- is paying the cost of 25 charter buses to haul teachers from around Broward County to tonight's Fort Lauderdale protest, with Ristow's estimate of 2,000 more driving themselves.

The real goal of the protest, Ristow says, is to make sure budgets are prioritized for classroom instruction.

Under the current budget, the calendar of workdays has been cut back for classroom teachers but not for administrators like assistant principals -- who Ristow says are paid throughout the summer while the schools are closed.

Then there's the $11 million spent annually on the school district's three offices -- two of which are located in the same exact location near Sawgrass Mills Mall -- that are just the top of the union's budget concerns.

For more information on the protest, click here.


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16 comments
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Christy
Christy

The school board needs to be abolished  NOT TEACHERS.  Read the Grand Jury Report.WT heck is goin on!!!

skydove
skydove

There was a big turnout at the demonstration, which was preceded by a flyover of planes with banners saying "Broward School Board: Cut Waste, Not Jobs."

I'm no judge of crowds, but there had to be a thousand participants. At one point the whole east side of SE 3rd, from below the KCW Building to halfway up the bridge, was jammed with people ringing bells and shouting and waving signs. Many of the signs were mass-produced anti-Scott jobbies, in three or four flavors. One, that had a big photo of Notter, politely expressed the wish that he'd leave, already. Then there were your typical schoolteacher creations: neatly printed messages in marker pen on glossy white cardboard.

Quite a few kids were there, too. Some were just running around, having a good time. But one purposeful young man, maybe 9 years old, was using a bullhorn to lead a half-dozen children who seemed even younger in a chant I couldn't make out.

All in all it was very orderly; whether it will have any effect remains to be seen. Seemed to be breaking up around 6.

Christy
Christy

Skydove we were looking for you over at Bob Normans Blog Channel 10.  Fly over if you get a chance.

http://www.local10.com/bobnorm...

skydove
skydove

Found the blog, thanks, Christy. Now (well, later) to get my avatar sorted.

Guest
Guest

BTU members should also be VERY thankful that the incumbent COO, Donnie Carter, has withdrawn his name from consideration as interim superintendent.  Carter is nothing short of being a male version of Miriam Oliphant.

nanook5
nanook5

stop by nearby Stranahan Park for some free food with Food not Bombs at the same time. FNB is also at risk of being shut down by the City. Lower class jobs and hungry homeless, all sacrificial lambs for our corporate police state.

JOEL714
JOEL714

maybe you'd be happier living in Cuba. If you really want to live there, I'd be happy to pay your one way fare.

The Pulp Blog
The Pulp Blog

Nanook5, why is Food not Bombs at risk of being shut down by the city? Hit me up at eric.barton@browardpalmbeach.com.

Rev Cuntini
Rev Cuntini

between the corrupt school board and the greedy union pensions for teachers they can all go to hell.

R. D. M.
R. D. M.

 Working 35 years at minimum pay under crap conditions to finally retire and be able to spend some money on yourself is hardly greedy.  

JOEL714
JOEL714

teacher do not work for minimum pay. they are generally paid fairly for their education, time at work,relative wages in the area for similar work, etc. Most teachers earn about $60m / year for 9 months work. If money was your goal, why did you become a teacher?? Could be that's the best you could do, so take your checks and be quiet.

nanook5
nanook5

not to mention most of the teachers who keep getting the axe, union or not: young people who worked hard to become educators, who wanted to contribute to their society, betrayed in favor of corporate hand outs.

JOEL714
JOEL714

corporate handouts? sounds like the same Marxist theme spouted by most union thugs

LocalDude
LocalDude

The grand jury said there was huge mismanagement and corruption in the BC schools.... THAT'S WERE THE MONEY WENT!

-why are teachers penalized for the commissions mismanagement?

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