Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

The good news about the teacher and staff shortage? We can fix it… Andrew Spar, FEA President

Floridaโ€™s educator shortage is a longstanding and worsening problem that impacts children and families daily…

The good news is, we can fix this.

President of Florida’s Education Association…Andrew Spar believes….

Working together, we can keep great teachers and staff in our schools while creating a climate that encourages more talented candidates who love kids to enter education.

Dragging culture-war politics into schools is a great way to stir up drama, but itโ€™s terrible for students.


Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

“Hope” … Florida’s Schools… Vote…November 8

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness…”

Our Florida schools have an opportunity to get out of the political restrictions created by Republican control beginning in 1999 …

That has been exacerbated by the authoritarian control by our latest governor, Ron DeSantis…

Right here, in my former school district, Alachua County…Our school board is grappling with these very issues…

Gershon Harrell
The Gainesville Sun


House Bill 7, aka ‘Stop WOKE’
HB 7 allows for the teaching of African-American history but prohibits classroom instruction and curriculum being “used to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view.”

HB 1557 also HB 7 have both sparked outrage and protests around the state. In Alachua County and statewide, high school students staged a walk out in protest of the HB 1557 after it passed the Florida House in a 69-47 vote.

DeSantis signed the measure into law March 28

HB 7 led to the Florida Department of Education rejecting some math textbooks after it was claimed the books โ€œcontained prohibited topicsโ€ that included references to critical race theory.

Alachua County Public Schools will soon have a better idea of how new laws restricting discussions around race, sexual orientation and gender identity will affect classrooms.

The county School Board will hear from school district attorney Francine Turney about recommended updates to a number of board policies, including those changing due to Florida House bills 7 and 1557, at a Wednesday workshop at 1 p.m. Already parents are seeing the effects of the latter law in requirements for their permission for health screenings.

House Bill 1557, known as Parental Rights in Education and called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents, also prevents classroom discussions about gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten though third grade. House Bill 7, known as the Individual Freedom bill and dubbed the “Stop WOKE Act” by supporters, prohibits classroom discussions on certain topics regarding race and gender.

Trans youth at risk:Medicaid for Floridaโ€™s transgender youth at risk under Gov. DeSantis

‘Don’t Say Gay’ protest:Alachua County students mobilize in protest of the controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Textbook ban:School board approves 4 of 11 math textbooks after DeSantis’ crackdown on critical race theory

The measures were signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The district has to update its instructional learning materials to fall in line with state standards, according to backup materials for the meeting.

House Bill 1557, aka ‘Don’t Say Gay’
HB 1557 prohibits classroom discussions surrounding gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade classes, while requiring instruction to be age appropriate in other grades.

The district implemented this policy for kindergarten through third grade classes on July 1, when the law went into effect, according to the district. For grades four and up, it takes effect only after the Florida Department of Education develops rules or guidance on age-appropriate instruction.

The law also requires parents to be made aware of health care services offered and allows for parents to deny or accept them. It further gives parents the right to file a complaint with the school district if there is any violation of the law.

On Aug. 9, Alachua County Public Schools sent a message home to families regarding health care, stating that parents must give active consent for their child to receive care for chronic health health conditions, vision screenings, dental screenings, hearing screenings and other services.

My heart is breaking for our children and teachers dealing with this…Our children are not being educated with the necessary culture and curriculum…Teachers live in fear they could lose their job …

We are still living with Covid, and our children still are being affected!!!

Many teachers have left teaching and we have a critical teacher shortage…Yet Governor DeSantis is reaching out to veterans and retirees who may not have any teacher preparation classes, nor have experience….

I myself was retired at thirty years due to health issues, was extremely fortunate to resume my teaching career for another eight more years … Before doing so, I had to take another teacher prep class, and take the requred teacher exam before being allowed back into the classroom…

If they gave teachers the respect and paid what they deserve…we would not have a teacher shortage here in Florida or anywhere!

Hope is here for our precious children here in Florida! If we are united and vote for Charlie Crist and Karla Hernandez!!

@andrewsparfea… President of the Florida Education Association…

Letโ€™s go out and work hard to make sure that we have an educator working at the highest levels of our state!

And make Val Deming’s Senator…

She is running against Marco Rubio.. who has done nothing for our children..

Posted in Thoughts About Children

Child Labor in America 100 Years Ago…

At the start of the 20th century, labor in America was in short supply, and laws concerning the employment of children were rarely enforced or nonexistent. While Americans at the time supported the role of children working on family farms, there was little awareness of the other forms of labor being undertaken by young hands. In 1908, photographer Lewis Hine was employed by the newly-founded National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) to document child laborers and their workplaces nationwide. His well-made portraits of young miners, mill workers, cotton pickers, cigar rollers, newsboys, pin boys, oyster shuckers, and factory workers put faces on the issue, and were used by reformers to raise awareness and drive legislation that would protect young workers or prohibit their employment.

After several stalled attempts in congress, the NCLC-backed Fair Labor Standards Act passed in 1938 with child labor provisions that remain the law of the land today, barring the employment of anyone under the age of 16…

Child Labor in America 100 Years Ago


Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Something New for Florida’s Children…Hope


We have some very exciting news. I am not sure if you saw already, but yesterday Congressman Charlie Crist announced his pick for lieutenant governor. He selected a teacher and a mom of two public school students. She is someone who cares about kids, families, and our communities. He selected ONE OF US! His pick for lieutenant governor is our very own FEA Cabinet member and the president of the United Teachers of Dade (UTD),

“Karla Hernandez”…

We knew that Karla was on the short list, but it is so incredible that someone running for governor would pick a teacher, let alone a leader in the union movement. By picking Karla, Congressman Crist has sent a clear message that public education, families and communities are at the heart of his campaign. He has shown that he understands the importance of who we are and what we stand for. Crist is making it clear that the education of our children is the paramount duty of the state of Florida and, under his administration, teachers and staff will have a true friend and ally in the governorโ€™s mansion.

Karla is a first generation American born in Miami to parents of Honduran decent. She spent 10 years teaching exceptional education students in Miami before joining with Fed Ingram at the United Teachers of Dade as their secretary-treasurer. She went on to serve, and continues to serve, as president of UTD, as chair of the AFT Womanโ€™s Rights Committee, as an AFT vice president and as an FEA Cabinet member.

We needed this exciting news. This shows that we are valued and respected for the work we do. And it shows that Charlie cares about us! We have a chance to truly change the landscape for Floridaโ€™s public school students, teachers and staff as well as Floridaโ€™s colleges and universities.

Help us get the word out:
Repost my tweet.
Share my Facebook post.
Tell your friends and colleagues.

Letโ€™s go out and work hard to make sure that we have an educator working at the highest levels of our state!

In solidarity,

In Solidarity,

Andrew Spar, President
Florida Education Association

Thank you for listening…
Our precious children need for a strong public school education…

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Our Precious Children’sMental Health…

In the Annie E. Casey Foundationโ€™s annual report evaluating states on indicators of child well-being, Florida โ€” after modest improvements in rankings over time โ€” remains 35th in the nation…

Each year, the Foundation uses 16 publicly available indicators of child well-being organized into four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. All of these come from publicly available national data so the states can be directly compared. Trend data is also presented for each variable to show change over time.

Below, FPI looks at each domain as compared to 2008-20121…


These findings are extremely disturbing…Our children have been dealing with so much… pandemic, divisive politics and poor leadership…

We have a governor who has refused to expand Medicaid…and from my own personal experience…My daughter who has mental health issues has been denied assistance…

We in Florida must vote blue for our precious children…
Having taught 38 years in Florida…
We so need a fighter…with heart…. right now more than ever..
#VoteBueforOurKids๐ŸŒŠ๐Ÿ’™๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ https://t.co/LjSHn15Sxa

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

“Dearest Teachers”…This New School Year…๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿฆ‹๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ๐ŸŽ

Dearest Teachers…

As this new school year begins, remember to be kind to yourself…
You are performing miracles…

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Florida Today… ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Florida Deserves Better…

Our precious children….
HUMANITY MATTERS https://t.co/yEwkqeR2i1

I am holding on to Hope…We must vote for our children..