"How Florida Slept," a report on the development of the Florida statewide teacher's strike, 1968

"How Florida Slept," a report on the development of the Florida statewide teacher's strike, 1968

Transcript

HOW FLORIDA SLEPT

Background on the Developing Florida School Crisis

May 28, 1965
FEA asked NEA to investigate Florida's political atmosphere as it affected education. The call came after lawmakers defeated a $51 million teacher pay raise under threat of gubernatorial veto.

June 15, 1965
NEA arrived to make a preliminary inquiry.

September 18, 1965
Eight man NEA begins [full-scale] investigation which includes school inspections, talks with officials, staff members, and citizens.

March 10, 1966
NEA's 198-page report was released to news media. Investigation showed that the 1947 Minimum Foundation Program never had been implemented fullly....it had become a maximum program instead of a minimum one....showed Florida financially capable of adequate school funding....but political climate was detrimental to public school system.

March 19, 1966
SANCTIONS ALERT announced. It was a move which preceded actual sanctions, putting the state on warning.

November 8, 1967
Republican Claude Kirk elected governor on platform to make Florida first in education, but with no new taxes.

April 14, 1967
FEA's 22 member team introduced proposals during the regular legislative session. New governor and new legislature show more concern for partisan political maneuvering than for education.

April 26, 1967
Gov. Kirk finally announced his education plan: "Balanced budget"....$119 million cut from state spending, mostly for education...slash of $66.4 million from junior colleges, kindergartens, libraries, and exceptional child care, and others.

April 27, 1967
FEA President George Dabbs warned that "statewide sanctions are almost sure to be invoked" if the legislature took the governor's plan.

May 5, 1967
After five weeks of effort not one FEA proposal reached the floor of either house.

May 13, 1967
Thousands of teachers attended area meetings, voted overwhelmingly to endorse all sanctions.

May 24, 1967
STATEWIDE SANCTIONS imposed. FEA also request4ed NEA sanctions.

June 3, 1967
FEA imposed further sanctions.

June 6, 1967
NEA announced nationwide sanctions invoked on Florida, censuring Kirk and advising teachers elsewhere not to seek employment in Florida during sanctions.

June 25, 1967
NEA's Dr. Cecil Hannan arrived to confer with political leaders, businessmen, and FEA leaders about NEA sanctions.

June 29, 1967
Kirk line-item vetoes legislative bills, "writing" his own package by cutting out $164 million in appropriations, $150 million of which was for education.

Source

State Archives of Florida: Collection M86-11, Box 40, Folder 3

Description

This report provides a detailed timeline of the political factors that drove the Florida Education Association to organize a statewide teacher strike in 1968, as well as a timeline of the actual strike and its aftermath.