Public education activists rallied on Monday morning against a new Florida law that threatens the existence of teachers’ unions.
Standing in rain across the street from Hialeah Gardens city hall, representatives of the United Teachers of Dade denounced House Bill 7055, which requires that half of all teachers eligible to be members of a teachers’ union must be dues-paying members or else the union will be decertified. The protestors were frustrated with lawmakers like Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., a Hialeah Republican who chairs the House education budget committee and supported the bill.
“The same legislators that we are talking about have done things intentionally so that they can silence the teacher’s voice,” said Karla Hernandez-Mats, president of the United Teachers of Dade. “We’re the ones advocating for students. We’re the ones saying, ‘These policies aren’t right.'”