FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee
Ione Townsend
813-704-5131
itownsendhcdec@gmail.com

January 13, 2020

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY DEMOCRATS BACK TEACHERS
County leader condemns Florida government for lack of support

TAMPA, FL, Month Date – As thousands of parents, teachers, students and union members converge to “Take on Tallahassee” today outside the Old Capitol, Hillsborough County Democrats have announced that they stand in solidarity with Florida’s teachers and join them in calling for an education system that works for everyone.

“Our message to lawmakers is clear,” said Ione Townsend, Chairman of the Hillsborough County Democratic Party. “Florida’s education system is in shambles. It will take decisive and progressive action to deliver the best education possible for students, and the best teaching environment for our educators.”

The rally is drawing local, state and national leaders in education including Damaris Allen, president of the Hillsborough County PTS/PTA; members of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association, representing the eighth largest school district in the nation; Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association; Fedrick Ingram, president of the Florida Education Association; The Reverend Al Sharpton, founder and president of National Action Network; and Jarius Williams, Florida A & M University student and president of Student FEA.

“We demand more funding for students and schools, raises for education employees, a halt in the deluge of standardized testing of students, and a commitment to local control of education,” Ms. Townsend said.

“It’s time for legislators to stop meddling, and micro-managing our education system. They need to start listening to the people who know the truth of how to make Florida’s education the best in the nation,” she said.

Florida is ranked 45th in the nation in education. Florida teachers are among the lowest paid in the country. Many teachers are forced to take on second jobs to support their families.

More than 2,200 teaching jobs went unfilled in 2018-2019, the last completed school year. That was an increase of 700 vacancies over the previous year. Most of those were in core classes.

The Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee is a local branch of the Florida Democratic Party. The HCDEC actively promotes laws and policies to increase prosperity and improve the lives of all Americans.

For more information, please contact Ione Townsend at 813-704-5131 or itownsendhcdec@gmail.com.