• Rally in Cocoa: Brevard County teachers want more funding for schools

    By: Kelly Healey , Sarahbeth Ackerman

    Updated:

    COCOA, Fla. - Brevard County teachers marched Wednesday at Fairglen Elementary School in Cocoa, trying to convince state lawmakers to increase funding for public schools.

     

    "We're not earning a competitive wage all across the state of Florida. We rank 46th in the nation for average teacher’s salary. Brevard County is $1,100 below that,” Vanessa Skipper, Vice president of the Brevard Federation of Teachers said.

     

    Similar rallies are expected to happen across the state, but in Brevard County, it will impact 5,000 teachers.


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    About a month ago, the teacher’s union asked for raises ranging between $1,700 and $2,300.

     

    But the district said they could not afford to pay that. Instead, the district offered its "best and final offer:" between $540 and $770.

     

    “We are below average for the state. But statewide, it's 46th in the country, and really, if we want to be able to retain the best teachers, recruit the best teachers and be able to have the best education system, we have to have a competitive salary," Skipper said.

     

    The Brevard Federation of Teachers staged the walk-in at 7:15 a.m.

     

    "It does get a little bit disheartening when we know there are things that we need, and we are being told we just don't have the funds to support those things, like, technology, high-quality curriculum. Those are things that we need. We need those to get our kids to prepared for the future," teacher Diane Mark said.

     

    So far, nearly the petition has nearly 20,000 signatures.



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