Speech by Floyd T. Christian: "The School Crisis in Florida" - Denver, Colorado - June 13, 1968


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Speech by Floyd T. Christian: "The School Crisis in Florida" - Denver, Colorado - June 13, 1968
Physical Description:
Christian, Floyd T.
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Box: 2
Folder: Address to Staff Conference of Colorado State Department of Education Teaching Profession


Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida

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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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sobekcm - AA00006397_00001
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Full Text

Address to Staff Conference of Colorado
State Department of Education
By Floyd T. Christian, State Superintendent
Florida State Department of Education
Denver Colorado, Thursday, June 13, 1968

The School Crisis in Florida

One day in early March of this year -- about 12 weeks ago -- there

were almost a quarter of a million .unemployed public school teachers

in the United States. They had walked away from their classrooms and

had engaged in what must be regarded as one of the most serious protests

against the American system of government in the short history of our


Teachers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South

Dakota, New Hampshire, California and Florida were caught up in strikes

and sanctions, threats and protests. Thousands of schools were closed

and millions of children were left without an education.

I would say that the crisis in public education and certainly the

one in Florida was one of the most serious in the history of our

country. We think of the American system of free, public education as

one of the bulwarks of democracy, so any threat to our educational

system is a major threat to our nation.

In my talk to you here today I want to go into some of the details

of this crisis and put my thoughts into language that will be helpful

to you -- the administrators here in Colorado.

Florida's crisis raised a number of questions which are very

complex and I have found it very difficult to provide good, solid

answers to these questions. They cannot be answered in simple terms

and anyone who attempts to do so is in for trouble.


Also, there is the danger of getting one's prejudice mixed up

with the facts and with objectivity. I shall do nmy best to separate

prejudice and fact, but I cannot promise complete success because I

was involved deeply in this story in Florida.

One of the complex questions I mentioned is this: what caused the

crisis in Florida? This answer is fairly simple Florida's teachers were

fed up. They were tired of legislatures which had failed to provide adequate

funds at the state level for education.

This ire finally reached a crescendo when a governor who ran -- and

was elected on contradictory platform planks of "make Florida first in

education" and "no new taxes" vetoed numerous measures affecting education

at the end of the 1967 Legislature.

His vetoes brought about a rally of 35,000 teachers at a football

stadium in Orlando in Central Florida -- 35,000 teachers gathered under

a broiling sun this is more than half of all the teachers in Florida.

They stood and solemnly vowed they were ready to turn in their resignations,

only days before the opening of the 1967-68 school year. The resignations

started coming by the thousands to their professional organization, the

Florida Education Association.

The resignations sparked the Governor into action -- and the Legislature

also. The Governor, who up until this point ignored the profession and said

there was no crisis, established a Commission for Quality Education, with

instructions to make a study of education lasting more than a year. An

in-depth study of the needs of our schools was begun by a special legislative


But the Governor's Commission was considered a stalling tactic --

"wait till next year" -- and teacher discontent mounted. When it became

obvious that the teachers meant business, the Governor revised his

timetable and the Commission came forth with a report in only a few

short months, rather than in a year.

On the basis of this report, the Governor called the Legislature back

into special session late last January and additional funds were voted

for education funds to be raised from an increased sales tax and from

other additional levies.

This legislation wasn't exactly what everyone wanted, but it was the

best we could pass. And it was tremendous. We doubled our state aid in

one year and even raised teacher salaries higher than the FEA had asked


However, the teachers were misled by their professional organization --

they were given wrong figures andsEsections of the legislation were misinterpreted.

I argued and pleaded with the leadership of the FEA not to take any

unwise action -- but it did no good. The FEA "activated" the thousands

of resignations as the special session adjourned and the walkout was


The public did not support the walkout. Newspapers did not support it.

Only a minority of teachers gave their backing.

In the simplest language, it was not possible for the public to understand

how teachers could leave their jobs after the special session had provided

more than 200 million additional dollars for education, as well as providing

the highest salary for starting teachers in the South and one of the highest

in the nation.

This fall, an inexperienced teacher with a bachelor's degree will be

guaranteed a statewide minimum salary of $5,300 and almost all of our

county school districts are supplementing this, with $6,00 or $6,300 the

figure adopted by most local school boards.


For comparative purposes, during the 1965-67 biennium, Florida

spent $571.5 million in general revenue funds for the public schools -

from kindergarten through junior colleges. For this biennium, the

figure is almost double it is $998 million, just short of a billion


These figures do not include the additional millions going to our

university system. Neither do they include the millions coihlected in

county property taxes for schools nor the millions in federal funds.

Now I ask you, in the face of increased school spending like this,

would Coloradans support a teacher walkout? I think not.

At the peak of the walkout, 25,000 teachers were away from their

classrooms and while these absences crippled our schools, they did not

succeed in closing down the schools statewide. Parents, retired teachers

and others came to the assistance of our children and kept our schools

in operation.

In some counties, even though schools remained open, there

was very little education being carried out.

I was determined to meet my Constitutional responsibility to keep

Florida's schools open -- and for the most part, we were successful. Joining

me in this determination were other members of the State Board of Education

as well as school board members in the individual counties.

Through action taken by the State Board of Education, at my urging,

various state regulations were amended or new regulations were adopted

which enabled county school systems to continue operations. One set of

changes permitted the employment of individuals without teaching certificates

and allowed the use of state funds to pay these substitute teachers. The

state board also gave me sweeping authority to waive such rules and regulations

as I considered necessary.


It was this action and other resolutions adopted by the state board

which paved the way for settlements between teachers and their individual

county boards. A few of our 67 county boards acted in a very hardheaded

manner and refused to re-employ some teachers. Some of these who were not

re-employed were leaders in their local professional organizations while

others were teachers against whom some board members held grudges.

There are some wounds remaining from this strife such as

unresolved court suits filed by dismissed teachers -- but the bitterness

which existed between teachers who walked out and teachers who remained

in their classrooms is lessening.

Teachers who walked out felt their action was for the good of their

students and teachers who did not join the walkout also thought their

course was proper.

This, in essence, is the Florida school story, 1968. What caused the

walkout is the basic question, but there are other questions as well which

I want to discuss with you.

For example, what has prompted the teachers of America to take their

present posture of militancy? What do they want?

In 1930, 30 percent of the public school teachers in the United States

held college degrees. By 1955, the number had grown to 78 percent, and

today it is somewhat in excess of 95 percent. In Florida, the figure.

exceeds 99 percent. Of these, some 27 percent hold master's degrees.

We all know that there is a great deal about being educated that cannot

be measured by college degrees; nevertheless, there is no mistaking a

great improvement in the education of American teachers and with it a

great change in their professional outlook.

What is the meaning of this change in terms of the present crisis in

education? Principally, it means that teachers want something to say about


how the schools are operated. They want to be involved in making educational

decisions,,including those decisions having to. do with the instruction of students

and with the management of the school system -- and certainly with their

own salaries.

The teachers themselves are quick to point out that it is insulting

for them to be denied any role in making decisions about the schools and

further that it is wasteful of public monies not to take advantage of

the professionals the experts in making certain policy decisions about

how the schools should be run. They point out that while medical doctors

do not ordinarily run the municipal hospitals, they do have representation

on the governing boards; that their representatives are often influential;

and that the decisions they help to make generally influence the fees which

doctors receive.

In addition to the more highly educated professional person in the

classroom, several other factors have contributed to the militancy movement.

Consider the following:

There has been an enormous decline in the number of school districts

in the United States since 1945. While this is generally to be applauded,

the effect has been to separate further the classroom teachers from the

decision makers in the larger school systems which have resulted from the

school consolidation. The additional layers of supervision have made

teachers feel the need for an organization devoted specifically to their


Another factor -- and a very important one is the increasing

percentage of male teachers. Today more than one-third of all teachers

are men, an increase of 82 percent in the past ten years. In the Southeast,

Florida ranks first in the percentage of male teachers. Men, typically,


have greater career commitments than women. The welfare of their wives

and children is at stake, and they seek to protect this in the most

effective way they can: by becoming involved in decisions which affect

their jobs.

Still another factor which has spurred on the teachers to organize is

the increased movement toward collective negotiations among other government

employees. This has been most noticeable in the large cities and is probably

a negligible factor in Florida.

Are salaries an issue? Of course they are. But in Florida, the matter

of teacher salaries has received far more attention than it has deserved,

largely because the press coverage has been generally superficial that

is not to say incomplete and the public outlook toward teachers not

very sympathetic; both have made the salary matter an easy handle by which

to grasp the whole problem. Personally, I do not believe that any fair-minded

person who followed the Florida crisis closely could claim that salary has been

the prime issue.

In summary then, America's -- and Florida's -- teachers insist on

being heard, on being reorganized as professionals, and on participating

along with the school administrators and the school board in making decisions

that affect both the operation of the schools and the teacher's own economic


Now for Question No. 2: What of the labor movement in teaching?

At the heart of the present disorder in America's public schools

is the question of what kind of organization the teachers will choose and

how they will use it. The National Education Association has been the

only teachers' organization of any consequence for the past century --

that is, until about seven years ago. It has been essentially a

a professional body. Its basic purpose as described in its constitution

is to "elevate the character and advance the interests of teaching, and

to promote the cause of popular education in the United States." In its

early history, the NEA claimed that discussions of teachers' salaries were


However, as. Conant pointed out in his book, The Education of American

Teachers, there is in every state capital a well-organized teachers' lobby

drawn from the teachers' association and the state department of education

which to a considerable degree represents the NEA although the beliefs,

when translated to action at the state level, emerge with significant differ-

ences from state to state.

Indeed, there have been education lobbies active ones in many

states -- and they have lobbied for more money for the schools, and especially

for teachers' salaries. But the lobbyists, usually the leaders in the state

and local associations, have often been school administrators who could

hardly be said to represent the hungry, young classroom teachers in hot

pursuit of better salaries and heavier participation in decision making.

The lobbyists have lobbied in gentlemenly fashion; their image has been

more that of the gentle schoolmaster with hat in hand than the angry

teacher with a club in his hand.

The National Education Association is now locked in battle with the

American Federation of Teachers and for the past several years the battle

has been intense. It promises to become more so. The NEA believes that

its very existence is threatened and has girded itself for a fight that

may belong and bitter.

The American Federation of Teachers was founded in Chicago in 1919

and affiliated at once with the American Federation of Labor. Its early

growth was slow; by 1934 its membership had not quite reached 10,000.


During the decade of the Thirties it was split by bitter internal Communist

problems, and in 1941 itsexpelled locals in New York and Philadelphia for

alleged Communist activities. The AFT remained small and inactive until

the post-Sputnik era when nearly everybody in this country found something

wrong with the schools and tried to do something about it.

In 1960 the AFT leaders decided to concentrate on New York City.

In November, 1961, they forced the school board to hold a teacher-representation

election. At the last minute, the NEA put together a Teacher Bargaining

Organization to compete but they were soundly beaten and the AFT became a

force in American education overnight.

The AFT's ties to organized labor are strong and durable. They go back

to 1961 when the Industrial Union Department of the AFL-CIO, with special

and personal attention from Walter Reuther, provided personnel and money

to help win ,the election in New York. Labor's interest in the teachers is

generally conceded to be related to the overall slump in union membership

which began early in the decade and to labor's failure over the years to

organize white-collar workers.

If the AFT could succeed in bringing the teachers into organized

labor, the image of unions in the eyes of other white-collar and professional

workers would be greatly enhanced. Thus, the stakes in New York City

were high enough for the AFL-CIO and in the words of one who followed the

movement closely, "the UFT (the United Federation of Teachers is the name of

the New York City local of the AFT) received more aid than any other local

of any union ever had received to compete in a collective bargaining

election." And the results have been well worth the investment. The UFT

with more than 50,000 members in New York City is the largest local in the



Nick Zonarich, director of organization for the IUD, says "teachers

have been the greatest inspiration in instilling new life in the labor

movement." The work force in Americanis changing rapidly from blue-collar

to white-collar, and the AFL-CIO hopes that teachers will lead other pro-

fessions to form unions and to affiliate. The AFL-CIO last year formed

a Council of Unions for Scientific, Professional, and Cultural Employees

and there are some reports of successful membership drives.

In recent years, the growth of the AFT has been almost phenomenal.

Its membership today stands at about 145,000. Most authorities agree that

it will continue to grow rapidly although it has some distance to go before

it catches the NEA which, despite a much slower growth rate, has just

enrolled its one-millionth member.

But the most significant effect of the AFT is the posture of increasing

militancy it has forced on its rival. Dr. William Carr, NEA's executive

director until his retirement last year, had been an outspoken opponent

of strikes. His successor is Dr. Sam Lambert who said recently, "We will

not encourage strikes but if one occurs after all good faith efforts fail,

we will not walk out on our local groups." The position of the NEA in

assisting the FEA leaves no doubt as to how far the organization has come in

supporting work stoppages by teachers by whatever name they are called.

Militancy is clearly the order of the day.

One wonders then what are the differences between the NEA and the AFT.

On the surface they do not appear to be very significant if one views the

current activities of the two groups, but philosophically I believe there

are basic differences. One of the most important in terms of operating

procedures is that the AFT does not accept school administrators as members

whereas the NEA makes no distinction. (About 15 percent of the NEA members

are non-teachers -- that is, administrators and supervisors.) And of course,


the AFT is formally and legally a part of organized labor. As such, it

is more contract-conscious and will doubtless continue to bargain for such

things as hourly wages for after-school work by teachers and it may very

well call on other elements in the labor organization for help in times

of strife.

In a recent dispute involving the AFL-CIO and a textbook printing firm,

the AFT urged a nationwide boycott of the printer's books which would have

deprived school children of about 170 titles. The effort, in this instance,

was not successful.

As for hourly compensation for "extra" work by teachers, the AFT

contract in Chicago now permits teachers to work no more than 406 minutes

per day. In Philadelphia, a school-wide rate of $7.50 per hour has been

set for such services as coaching athletics, sponsoring the yearbook,

and other duties which teachers have generally considered part of their

normal work.

The most fundamental difference between the two organizations

remains one of somewhat greater concern for professional matters by the

NEA as opposed to a primary concern for salary and other conditions

of employment by the AFT. Whether this difference will remain is yet to

be seen. There is no doubt that the distance that separates the two

organizations is much less today than it was a few years ago and it seems

to be decreasing steadily.

Another Question: Why have those who are responsible foreoperating

the schools not been more responsive to the teachers' demands?

The political arena in which the teachers now find themselves is

unfamiliar territory and in the conduct of their affairs, they have per-

formed with something less than consummate skill. Their public relations

have been a major problem, less so at the national level than in the

local communities where the success or failure of campaigns for increased


support resides. Consider, for a moment, the situation in Florida during

this year's school crisis.

The FEA adopted the role of a political action group more than a year

ago when it announced for all to hear that it intended to apply pressure

on the Florida Legislature. Last spring and summer, for example, the FEA

attempted to collect information on the personal habits and preferences

of the legislators.

This act and others similar in intent removed any doubt in the minds

of the legislators and the public about the role of the FEA in the 1967

legislative session. They could hardly have found a more effective way

of announcing that from now on things were going to be different. At

about the same time the leadership da the FEA was changing to people who

were younger, more receptive to change, and certainly more militant. They

were not requests that were made of the 1967 Legislature they were

demands -- and they were made in language which the people of Florida were

not accustomed to hearing from their teachers.

I want to make certain you do not miss my frequent references to the

people in my analysis of these events. For=it was the public who controlled

events more than any other group. Let us see how our legislators responded

to the new FEA.

In a word, negatively. The full meaning of this can be understood only

when one looks at the makeup of the Florida Legislature, all of whom were

elected after the reapportionment question was settled in the spring of 1967.

It is hard to imagine a group of legislators more fully committed to providing

increased support for the public schools than the group which assembled in

Tallahassee in April of last year. Without exception the leaders had campaigned

on education platforms -- not just the members of the Democratic majority but

the Republican minority as well -- and they came to Tallahassee ready to translate

their promises to laws.


But then things began to happen. The Governor had made some statements

in his campaign too, calling for a public school system that would be

first in the nation and at the same time proclaiming that he would permit

no new taxes. Now this was profoundly disturbing to the teachers, to

many legislators, and, I believe, to many of Florida's citizens who felt

keenly the need for better schools and who could see no way to get them except

by increased taxes which they were willing, if not eager, to pay.

With the opening of the legislative session in April, positions hardened

quickly and as the session wore on, confusion became chaos. The FEA's

pronouncements became more strident and their actions more militant. And

the public, which the FEA must surely have counted to be its ally, was

largely unable to understand either the FEA's motives or its methods. The

result was widespread criticism of the teachers and failure to support

their campaign.

I said they mutt have counted on the help of the people, for to expect

success in a campaign of this kind without strong public support is incon-

ceivable. Yet, the record of the FEA's actions in those days leaves the

observer to wonder about this point. Many who followed events closely

and who wanted desperately to have the public understand the teachers'

position winced at the tactics of the FEA. Many wondered what sort of

logic ledC them to pursue a course which sometimes seemed deliberately

designed to alienate the people.

And the legislators by now were motivated by their own anger at

the FEA especially its leaders -- and by what they judged to be the

disillusionment of their constituents with the teachers. While it is

true that many were also impressed by the support which the FEAileaders

were able to attract and sustain among the teachers, they were nonetheless

convinced that the FEA was going too far and that there was no satisfying

them except by giving in to their every wish, which the legislators were

in no mood to do.


It is difficult to analyze the Governor's role in the same way as

those of the other two components, for he has operated in a different

manner and he has had different motives. His interest in politics at the

national level has been unmistakable for the past year, and he has behaved

like most politicians would, I suppose, whose interests were not confined

to tending the home fires.

There is no doubt that modest support from the executive branch

would have insured the passage last spring of legislation at least

favorable to the teachers as that which did pass in the special session.

But the Governor did not choose to provide that leadership and the Legislature

and the FEA continued to lacerate one another through the long, hot summer

and into a frustrating fall and a wretched winter. And Florida's school

children suffered.

I am fully confident that if a sizable segment of the Legislature

had listened hard to the teachers' cries of textbook shortages and no

kindergartens and peeling plaster -- and had seen that this was given as

much public notice as was given the alleged misbehavior of the FEA -- the

split would never have become serious and in all likelihood the strike

would not have happened. Show us that you understand our plight, the

teachers said -- show us at least that you care that Florida has fallen

sadly below the level of quality education for its children, at least that

you know about our decline among the states. The sad truth is that not many

people in Florida acted as thoughtthey knew or cared.

To the point that the teachers brought all of this on themselves by

their own tactics, I can only say once again that the teachers and their

leaders were in a game with unfamiliar rules and nobody came to teach them

how to play. Not the AFL-CIO as it did the teachers in New York City in 1961!


The NEA did, you say? But the NEA is also just learning its way around

the political arena and the NEA and the FEA combined were nearly helpless

in this controversy. So the fight became more bitter and the distinction

between the real needs of education and the reprehensible behavior of the

teachers as seen by the Legislature and the public became more obscure.

That it led ultimately to the near breakdown of most of public education

in Florida should surprise no onee

Question Number Four: What of the future?

It must be clear to even the casual observer that the changes education

is undergoing in this country are such as to bring about a future which will

be far different from the past. Most of the changes have gone so far and

are under such force that they will not be stopped or reversed.

There seems little doubt that the teacher militancy we are now witnessing

all across the nation will be a part of public education for some time to

come. Whatever chance there was of halting the trend toward militancy in

Florida, I believe, was lost a few months ago when the teachers suffered

their notable defeat.

Note that the AFT and militancy generally are strongest in the large

cities where the school problems are at their worst. In the affluent suburbs --

for example, those around Chicago and on Long Island where the best schools

in the nation are located and where there is the most generous financial

support non-militant professionalism is still winning out. But it appears

that a great many American people have not yet become convinced that good

education is important enough to pay what it costs. The battle is joined when

these values are pitted against those of most educators and some lay citizens

who believe most strongly in the values of education. The confrontation in

many American communities is serious and will likely be no less so for some



With respect to the competition between the NEA and the AFT, one course

seems to make more sense than any other: merger of the two organizations.

While this is not talked about very much publicly, it has been suggested

by a few people in sensitive positions. If the two organizations continue

to move closer together, it might well happen. Whether the teachers in

general can accept an affiliation with organized labor and all that implies

is yet another question.

My own estimate is that most will resist this until they become

convinced that there is no other way to make themselves heard in the

corridors of power and for education to be viewed as a more important

function of society.

If the teachers do accept the role of lobbyists, if they continue

to play the political game, I believe they will either learn to play it

well, or they will quickly be annihilated. As long as the teachers' repre-

sentatives went to the state legislatures in kindly and gentle fashion

addressing themselves mainly to professional matters and making requests

for more money, they could expect to be treated gently. But if they are

going to play the game the way business and industry play it, they had

better be prepared to go all the way.

Many teachers will find this distasteful and the result may very well be

that they will leave teaching. The result of this could be a basic change

in the character of the teaching profession. Again, it is largely a question

of public support. If the teachers believe their cause will go unheeded,

militancy will probably win out. If on the other hand, there is a willingness

for the people and their elected representatives to fight the battles for

quality education, the teachers may become convinced to confine their

energies iD the legislatures and with the school boards to professional



Now my final question -- based on my own experience -- what are some

guidelines for chief state school officers, board members, administrators

and other leaders of education in America?

First, you cannot take the position in Colorado -- or any other state --

that what happened in Florida couldn't happen to you. It can and you

must be prepared for it.

I think the most serious problem in education is poor public relations,

misinformation, or lack of information -- call it what you wish. I

prefer the term "communications gap."

This gap exists between the chief administrator and school board,

between the board and the teacher, between the teacher and the public.

I think the day has long passed when teachers should not have the right to

bring their grievances before their school board and be given a fair and

equitable hearing.

This is not to be interpreted to mean teachers should dictate policies

of the board, but simply that they should be heard -- and heard in full --

and where possible, close this gap in communications so that teaching

conditions or salaries or whatever their grievances might be can be best

understood and where possible, be rightfully resolved.

Secondly, I think administrators are in a peculiar class they want

to be a part of their profession -- but while they are a part of the

profession, their chief responsibility is to the children. To use a labor

union term, they are management. To leave a job, with a school unattended -

as some Florida principals did -- is perhaps one of the most serious offenses

I can think of in education. Not only did some principals walk out, administrators

at higher levels -- like assistant county superintendents -- did so also,

leaving behind empty desks. This, to me, is very serious.

Thirdly, I think that school boards and school administrators need to

take a good hard look at their laws, their state board regulations and


their policies with an eye toward revision. In the light of what has happened

in Florida in recent months, we have done this -- especially in the area of

teacher contracts.

My staff and I, together with a number of county school board attorneys,

have under consideration new wording for annual and continuing contracts

which we believe will rule out any future mass walkout, such as occurred

earlier this year.

I would like to read the wording of one paragraph we have under

study which I believe will prohibit future work stoppages.

Quote "The teacher agrees to teach the full period of service for which

this contract is made and in no event shall the teacher leave his or her

position without first being released from this contract by the county

board, to comply faithfully with the school laws and with all rules and

regulations of the State Board of Education and of the County Board of

Public Instruction, and the teacher further agrees not to engage in any

unlawful or unauthorized work stoppage, strike or collective refusal

to perform his duties, to keep the register, and to make all reports which

may be required by the County Board; provided that the last month's

salary shall not be paid until all reports have been made and all duties

have been performed as required by law." End quote.

This wording effectively spells out conditions which in many cases

now are only implied or are covered in other sections of law. This will

put it in clear black and white for the teachers, and they will be fully

aware of what is expected of them at the time they receive their contract.

If the new contract terms are adopted, annual contract teachers as well

as continuing contract teachers will be covered as new contracts are entered



Finally, I believe the school family has been most derelict in its

responsibility to keep the public -- the taxpayers -- informed. Again,

here is a communications gap. District superintendents, board members,

principals, staff members and teachers must explain fully and honestly

the needs and major problems of their schools.

The taxpaying public must be told why increased funds are necessary,

why a broken windownhasn't been repaired or a peeling wall repainted or why

the textbooks Johnnie brings home are dogeared.

The best way I feel to get the support of your school parents -- and

get them to display an interest -- is to get them involved. Involve the

public, get them interested, show them the problem and you will win their

support. One way we are doing this in Florida -- and there are many ways --

is through the establishment of community task forces, involving citizens

and legislators in education decisions.

We must never assume the position that school people alone are responsible

for getting funds and building buildings and operating schools. Schools

belong to the public and the sooner we get the public involved, the greater

our opportunity for winning support and solving our problems.

By creating a greater awareness of the issues and problems in our

schools -- and getting the public involved -- I think we also develop in

the public a new insight into the teacher as an individual and hopefully --

lift the level of the profession. Everyone should feel that the teaching

profession is important and is a dignified calling of the highest caliber.

A good educational program in a community -- or a state requires

the cooperative efforts of all the people. Teachers alone, citizens alone,

school board members alone, state level staff members alone, or the legislature

alone cannot provide a successful program of education for any state.

Quality education is possible, however, when all the people work together

for a common goal.