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Florida’s Governor Crist vetoes drastic anti-education legislation

Today’s victory a ‘true testament’ to working together, says NEA’s Van Roekel

WASHINGTON - April 15, 2010 -

In the wake of a massive public outcry, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) today vetoed State Senate Bill 6 (H.B. 7189), legislation that would have based virtually all school and personnel decisions on scores from standardized, fill-in-the-bubble tests.

The following statement may be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel: 

“Today was an important day for Florida’s students.  The governor recognized that the key to great public schools is great teachers, and the way to keep great teachers in Florida’s classrooms is to empower them, not punish them.

“I commend Governor Crist for vetoing SB 6 and ensuring that this harmful and disruptive legislation did not become law.  He listened to tens of thousands of educators and other Floridians who clearly saw a better path for Florida’s schools.
“It was especially heartening to see all members of the community joining together to fight such drastic legislation. Parents, teachers, students, community leaders, Republicans, Democrats—we all worked side by side to defeat this harmful law. 

“It’s time for us to work together to improve schools the right way, for every student, for the long term.  We know that the NEA leaders and members in Florida are eager to make changes that work for students.  Our teachers and education support professionals have the will to get it done.  We must collaborate with them and support their efforts to help every student succeed. 

“NEA thanks Governor Crist for the sound judgment he exhibited in rejecting an impulsive, silver-bullet approach to education reform. We look forward to working with him in our mission to ensure great public schools for every student.” 

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing
3.2  million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Staci Maiers  (202) 822-7823,