Interview with Frances Lunsford, May 3, 1973

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Interview with Frances Lunsford, May 3, 1973
Lunsford, Frances ( Interviewee )
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History of Florida Education Oral History Collection ( local )


This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

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Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
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This interview is part of the 'Florida Education' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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DATE: 5-3-73


Will put their feet in my shoesand I hope that I leave shoes that will be interesting to

fill. At the present time the strongest things that come back in my mind are the 1968

teacher frustration period, has to do with the that we found

in the state of Florida. I was serving on the FEA board as an FEA director of the Florida

Education Association. And there was a director representing areas, I represented Alachua

county andseveral of the smaller surrounding counties. Since 1968, these areas have

changed so much and I do not feel that this is important to what I'm talking to you about

with the exception that I represented perhaps some 5,000 to 7,000 people in this area. The

frustrations continued to mount and as the Legislature failed to make appropriations for

increasing active, instructional money for schools, teaching money, salaries, working

conditions alleviations, the frustrations of teachers continued to mount until the pressure

on professional organizations began to mount so that professional organizations leaders

felt that there must be something. Shortly after the mid 1960s, Bill Constance was named

executive secretary of the Florida Education Association. He followed a very conservative

person, Mr. Henderson had served prior to Dr. Constance and Mr. Henderson had felt these

pressures rising but he was not responding in a way that the membership felt his response

should be and so with much pressure in back of all of this, Mr. Henderson retired and

Dr. Constance was employed as executive secretary of FEA. A person who is employed in

this capacity has a multi-group of people to serve. Not only a multi-ethnic groups but

multi-interest groups, and at this time it was what we call a organization

If higher education represented principals associations, superintendents association, all

levels of instruction in the county education system.were included in the organization.

Of course the superintendents had a real problem because even though some were in sym-

pathy with the problems of the financing in the state and had to be concerned about this,

they also had a responsibility and as I was walking in this evening I was

because when you wear the title of administrator you have a professional responsibility

to the job to which you were and you have to do certain things, some you

Page 2

enjoy, some you do not but your importance of teaching there are

certain responsibilities which you enjoy doing and some which are part of your job and

your professional ethics, the fact that you do it or there should be something that stops

you from doing these things. With your responsibility and opportunity to serve as a

teacher comes a responsibility of the profession, so there are many problems that were

coming in as board members moved in for FEA board meetings. We got together, do something

business, what do you do when you have tr;ed all the various ways of getting the attention

of the public, when you have asked for people to come visit the schools and when you have

invited parents in and just those who would have come without the invitation come to see

the schools and the poor conditions and the power structure seems interested

and the power structure so seldom surfaces for you to see.

you will find that the power struc-
ture seldom emerges and it is difficult for you to find the

real power structure in the state if you are under $10,000 employment, and most of

the employees of school systems were under $10,000 income and day to contact

in contact with these people or if you were related to
them and then your relationship is a different one than if you were a man of profession

which is making