MIAMI -- Math and science teachers would get extra pay and all Florida public school teachers would get a laptop computer under a proposal announced Monday by Gov. Jeb Bush.
Aimed at luring about 30,000 new teachers to Florida schools and retaining those currently working in the state, the proposal calls for other inducements such as an education minor in state colleges, and more money for college loan reimbursements. (Lakeland Ledger)
By the way, based on numbers compiled by the National Education Association,
- Florida ranks 29th in the nation in teacher pay -- about $6000 below the national average.
- Florida ranks near the bottom of all states--40th out of 50--in the per capita revenue raised for public education.
- Florida ranks near the bottom of all states--47th of 50 states--in the per capita spending on public education.
- Public education spending per pupil has declined in Florida. Since 1990, per pupil spending in constant dollars has declined by 8%.
- Florida ranks 7th worst in the country in the total taxable resources spent on public education. Education spending by the State of Florida and its localities amounts to just 3.3% of its gross state product.
- Florida ranks near the bottom (43 of 50) in the number of students for each teacher. (Jeb! is now attempting to overturn the class size amendment passed by voters over his strong objection -- and to fulfill his "devious plan" to undermine the amendment's purpose.)
- Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Florida's schools have at least one inadequate building feature (e.g., roofs, plumbing, electric wiring), and 80% have at least one unsatisfactory environmental condition (e.g., poor air quality, poor heating, too much noise).
So, thank you, Gov'na Jeb! Forget the numbers. Teachers will surely go hog wild just to get their hands on one of them fancy new laptops -- 'specially the ones with color screens and keys to the internets.
Pay no attention to the naysayers like the one who wrote this letter to the editor. It represents the view of many teachers and former teachers I know in the sunshine state:
I was appalled at the article Tuesday about Gov. Bush's plan to give teachers laptops as an incentive. It reminded me of the phrase, "Let them eat cake." Especially appalling was the quote by David Lauer [assistant superintendent of human resource services for Polk schools] saying that the No. 1 thing that would make teachers happy isn't even money. All I can say is that he must be very well compensated, because all the science teachers I know who have left the school system (myself included) did so for just that very reason.Oh yeah, one last thing betwixt us good ole boys, so to speak: Has Brother Neil joined up with W.'s Texas bud, Mikey Dell, in the 'puter marketing business to expand Neil's Bush-light, "leave no dollar behind," test prep bi'ness and its Ignite! program, The COW, or Curriculum on Wheels (not a reference to "cash cow," surely)?