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Press Release

Tuesdayy, January 12, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Statement By: State Board of Education Chairman T. Willard Fair Regarding Teacher Union Opposition to Race to the Top

“On December 17, 2009, the Florida Education Association published their initial criticism of Florida’s efforts to win the federal Race to the Top competition. I believed at the time that their reaction was based on insufficient information and that once they received that information, their position would change. Sadly, even with constant communication and repeated clarifications regarding their issues, they have chosen to put institutional survival ahead of the needs of our students.

“I find it absolutely inconceivable that the majority of Florida’s teacher unions, the same bodies that claim to operate in the best interests of our children, are refusing to come together around the federal Race to the Top competition. Each union’s decision to forgo their signature on a document that merely asks for them to talk with their school district about improving our education system is a direct blow to the future prosperity of our students.

“This is no time for selfish pursuits to dominate the agenda of our schools. The adults in this state need to step up and truly put the interests of our children at the top of the priority list.”