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Protect our Public Schools – then foreign policy – Weds at 9am on Peace & Justice

Written by on Monday, December 2, 2019

This Wednesday, December 4 at 9am, we’ll have in the studio Carol Lerner of Protect Our Public Schools (POPS) Manasota. She’ll talk about the upcoming Florida legislative session and the event at Fogartyville December 10.

Then we’ll have on the phone Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies. Phyllis directs the New Internationalism Project at IPS, focusing on Middle East, U.S. wars and UN issues. She is also a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. In 2001 she helped found and remains active with the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. She works with many anti-war organizations, writing and speaking widely across the U.S. and around the world as part of the global peace movement. She has served as an informal adviser to several top UN officials on Middle East issues and was twice short-listed to become the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. She’ll talk about foreign policy and her latest posts and books.


Here are the details on the POPS event at Fogartyville on Tuesday, December 10th at 6:30 pm.

A Panel Discussion on Education priorities for the 2020 Florida Legislative Session and how to reverse underfunding and privatization.

How do we reverse more than 20 years of underfunding and School Privatization decisions by Florida lawmakers?
How do we locally create high quality, equitable public schools  for children and treat our teachers well?

For over 20 years, Florida public schools have been strangled by the Florida legislature’s systematic disinvestment in education funding while rapidly expanding school privatization and high stake testing. Per pupil spending has hardly budged over the past decade, while inflation has eaten away nearly 20% of its worth. We see the results of these decisions:

  • Florida teachers fleeing with 3,500 current vacancies
  • Florida ranked 46th in the nation in teacher pay
  • Florida ranked 43rd in the nation in per pupil spending
  • Florida ranked first in the nation for school privatization

In Sarasota and Manatee Counties, bad state policies have resulted in tight budgets; inadequate teacher pay and attacks on job security; increased teacher vacancies; test, not teach mentality and insufficient student supports, particularly at low-income schools.
Other states have formed the Red for Ed movement and increased education funding and slowed down school privatization. Can we do this in Florida? Join POPS, Manasota to discuss how we can work together to change legislative priorities and create schools that work for students and teachers locally and throughout the state.

Panelists include:

  • Martha Karlovetz President, Suncoast NEA-Retired
  • Pat Gardner President, Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association
  • Carol Lerner Retired Educator Chair, POPS, Manasota
  • Amanda Linton Current Teacher Florida State Senate Candidate (Dist. 21)
  • Moderator: Robin Williams Retired Educator, POPS Manasota