Brevard Teachers Dedicated, Committed In Spite of Living Paycheck To Paycheck

By  //  October 17, 2015

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A Former Educator's Perspective

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GARY SHIFFRIN: The reason Brevard continues to shine the way it does is because those who are are currently teaching our youth are the finest you will find, and are dedicated and committed in spite of living from paycheck to paycheck, and even have more than one job.

BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – In a report of the recent meeting at the Government Center with the Brevard delegation, Rep. Ritch Workman was quoted as saying, “it’s so easy to blame Tallahassee for the problems in education.

Workman added that he’s tired of hearing “how we screwed everything up.”

So let’s analyze that comment.

Maybe we should blame the Feds, but we know the responsibility of maintaining a quality education system was reserved to the states.

Or we could blame our local government, but we know they also have little control in this area. Or we could even blame our local school board, but they are dictated to by what comes out of Tallahassee in regards to budgets, policies and instructional leadership.

So what is left?

The state constitution states that the state legislature is responsible for funding and providing a quality education for the students of Florida.

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As much as you would like to believe our legislators are doing a masterful job in providing that quality education, the facts speak volumes against that theory.

Whereas the per student spending in Florida is one of the lowest in the nation at around $7,000, other places like New York spend approximately $20,000 per student.

We know we are losing more teachers than ever before, and besides the low pay, they also are not interested in being involved in the political experiments with evaluation systems, ridiculous testing requirements and a host of other demands.

Recently our school principals complained that when they have openings for teachers, no one, or very few qualified instructors, apply.

Could one of the reasons be that our school districts are not provided enough money to adequately pay teachers for the amazing work they do?

We know we are losing more teachers than ever before, and besides the low pay, they also are not interested in being involved in the political experiments with evaluation systems, ridiculous testing requirements and a host of other demands.

The reason Brevard continues to shine the way it does is because those who are are currently teaching our youth are the finest you will find, and are dedicated and committed in spite of living from paycheck to paycheck, and even have more than one job.

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And speaking of Tallahassee, did I mention that the Department of Education is also located in Tallahassee. They certainly also share a lot of the blame.

Education is too important for the failures of the legislature and the DOE, and hopefully new initiatives will be created to make significant changes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gary Shiffrin retired in 2013 after a long and outstanding career with the Brevard County Public Schools that spaned 42 years, and several schools.

Gary Shriffrin

Gary Shriffrin

He was the principal of Merritt Island High for 10 years, and before that Shiffrin spent 14 years, 10 of them as principal, at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Merritt Island. For six years, he was assistant principal at Cocoa Beach High School.

Shiffrin served at Stone Junior High School for a year just after he had left Melbourne High School, where he started his teaching duties as an educator and coach.

Also a coach and athletic director, Shiffrin served as the commissioner of the Cape Coast Conference for 23 years and was the Space Coast’s representative on the FHSAA assembly. He was inducted in the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame last April and the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in May 2015.

In addition to being a regular columnist, Shiffrin covers education and prep sports for Space Coast Daily.


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