WASHINGTON - National Education Association President Becky Pringle released the following statement praising Charlie Crist’s selection of Karla Hernández — a mother with two kids in Florida’s public schools, teacher, first-generation American of Honduran descent, and NEA member — as his running mate:
“Karla Hernández is a mom with two kids in Florida’s public schools, a first-generation American of Honduran descent, a teacher who has partnered with parents and her community to strengthen Florida’s public schools, and a tireless advocate for ensuring every student has the opportunity to grow into their brilliance. She understands that Florida’s families want the Sunshine State’s leaders to focus on solving the real problems impacting families, including the cost of housing, solving educator shortages so every student can get the one-on-one support they need, and keeping weapons of war out of our schools and off our streets.
“By picking Karla Hernández as his running mate, Charlie Crist continues to demonstrate his respect for Florida’s educators as the professionals they are. And he knows that our teachers and education support professionals — those who know the names of the students in their classrooms — should have a seat at the table when education policy is being crafted.
“For the last four years, Ron DeSantis has failed Florida’s students, parents, and educators. He continues to underfund our public schools while using our most venerable students as pawns in his culture wars. DeSantis has diverted billions of dollars from Florida’s public schools into unaccountable and discriminatory voucher schemes. Because of DeSantis’ failures, Florida now faces one of the biggest educator shortage crises in the nation. Too many students across the state started the new school year without a permanent, passionate teacher to help inspire them to learn. School districts don’t have enough bus drivers to safely get students to and from school on time. And schools lack the support staff necessary to ensure students can get what they need and deserve.
“As Americans, most of us want the same thing — strong public schools that give every student the freedom to reach their potential. All students, Black and white, Native and newcomer, Hispanic and Asian, from rural, suburban, and urban communities alike, should have the opportunity to succeed. And that is why in Florida, Charlie Crist picking Karla Hernández as his running mate to be Florida’s next lieutenant governor is such exciting news.
“Charlie Crist and Karla Hernández will be a breath of fresh air in Tallahassee, which is why educators and parents across Florida are so excited about this ticket.”
The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at www.nea.org.