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Educational Conflict in the Sunshine State: The Story of the 1968 Statewide Teacher Walkout in Florida

Educational Conflict in the Sunshine State: The Story of the 1968 Statewide Teacher Walkout in Florida (Hardback)

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In the state of Florida in the 1960s, the tension between the costs of funding a quality education program and the taxes required to do so exploded into a confrontation between the state's teachers and the Florida power structure. For a century or more, the state had been determined to keep taxes-all taxes-as low as possible. In that context, Florida's education system atrophied to the point that educators felt they could no longer continue to ignore what it was doing to their students. After years of begging, cajoling, and threatening, the Florida Education Association called for a statewide strike of all teachers in order to force education improvements. Cameron explains the statewide walkout of 35,000 teachers in Florida in 1968, a seminal event in the history of Florida and in the teacher union movement. It rocked the Florida power structure that had allowed education in the state to atrophy to the point of scandal. The walkout ended after three weeks in a sea of recriminations, lawsuits, and ill feelings. The strike lasted three weeks at the state level, but went on for up to seven weeks in some local school districts. Its repercussions, however, went on for decades.

Don Cameron retired in January 2001 as Executive Director of the 2.6 million-member National Education Association, a position he held for eighteen years.

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