Teachers Acting on HB7123


Christopher Vargas

Ms. Elington showing that “Our Votes Count”.

Christopher Vargas, Entertainment Editor

If you were like many teachers and Florida voters last November, you expected change toward increased taxes to fund public schools which would favor their teachers.

Instead of only public schools receiving the funding to increase teacher pay, increase security and supplement school therapists, senators in Tallahassee want to pass a house bill called HB7123. The bill allows charter schools to receive funding alongside public schools despite being purposefully excluded in the November vote.

If HB7123 passes it would ignore the vote in November, this action stirred public teachers and voters to defend the original vote in the form of rallies.

There were two rallies, one on Tuesday outside the parking lot of the Palm Beach County Board of Elections and another on Wednesday outside Palm Beach County’s School District’s Educational Services Center.  

The Tribe had the chance to ask the person who organized the rallies, CTA president Justin Katz, on his stance.

Justin Katz said, “We had a vote in November to increase funding for our traditional public schools and there are lawmakers in Tallahassee who are interested in reversing that vote, 6 months after it concluded, 6 months after 72% of voters supported it, 6 months after 382,000 people in Palm Beach County said yes. There are lawmakers trying to reverse the outcome of an election and that’s just not democratic and that’s not what this country is about.” 

Many teachers and voters feel the same way, as their votes will be ignored if this bill goes across.

These anti HB7123 rallies were met with opposition by charter schools. Though few in numbers, charter school teachers still stood their ground outside the Palm Beach County’s School District Educational Services Center.

The Tribe interviewed Siri Miller of Western Academy charter school at the second rally about her stance.

Siri Miller states, “Charter schools receive funding the same way as public schools so I think it’s fair for charter school students to have equitable access to the resources these funds could provide.”

With the effort and actions of these two sides, the fate of the bill is still hotly debated and the final decision will be announced by Saturday.