TV Spot Tells Voters Governor Isn’t Leading on Education, So They Have To
A television ad urging Florida voters to support Amendment 9, the class size reduction initiative, is hitting the airwaves around Florida this week. (Click here to read the text of the ad.) The ad campaign, which is being paid for by People For the American Way’s Florida Campaign Account, was launched at a press conference today in Tallahassee. The ad will be on the air this week in Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and other markets.
“Amendment 9 is on the air!” said Sharon Lettman-Pacheco, People For the American Way’s Tallahassee-based Deputy Field Director. “Florida voters know that smaller classes are urgently needed for our students and our state. That’s why they support Amendment 9 in such strong numbers.”
“Unfortunately, voters have been subjected to a barrage of distortion and deceptive information about the initiative from the governor and his political allies, and it’s time they got the truth,” Pacheco said. “Our ad’s message is clear: our schools are in crisis. But our political leaders have failed to act, so it’s up to the voters.”
Pacheco was joined at the press conference by State Sen. Kendrick Meek, the author of Amendment 9 and the chairman of Florida’s Coalition to Reduce Class Size.
“In recent weeks opponents of public education have stooped to new lows and flat-out lies to scare Floridians into turning their backs on our children,” said Meek. “People For the American Way is providing a great public service by setting the record straight on the crisis we face in Florida and the affordable solution offered by Amendment 9. We’re very pleased that in the past several days both the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post have endorsement Amendment 9.”
People For the American Way, a national organization of 600,000 members and supporters (with 35,000 members and supporters in Florida), has played a leading role in the Coalition to Reduce Class Size. To date, People For the American Way has invested approximately $650,000 in its support for the initiative. During the summer, PFAW helped gather the signatures necessary for Amendment 9 to make the ballot. In September, People For the American Way and the Coalition to Reduce Class Size released an in-depth report examining the urgent need to reduce overcrowding in Florida’s schools and analyzing several funding options for state legislators to consider when implementing Amendment 9. The report is available at www.pfaw.org or www.smallerclasses.org.
“Public education is a top priority for People For the American Way because it is about our children and it is about our future,” said People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas. “Florida officials have failed to live up to their responsibility. The state’s children are suffering for it, and the future is being shortchanged for all Floridians. I believe that by passing Amendment 9, Florida’s voters will not only take leadership on behalf of their own children, but will spark a nationwide movement to strengthen public schools, which are a cornerstone of our democratic society.”
Neas is available to talk about the ad campaign by phone.
There’s an educational crisis in Florida.
We’re 44th nationwide in student teacher ratio.
Our dropout rate is second-to-last. Florida ranks 49th.
And under Governor Bush, we’re dead last in education funding -- costing us our future.
We need to vote Yes on Nine, the smaller class size initiative – and Florida can afford it.
It’s time to invest in our kids – education instead of special interest tax breaks.
Governor Bush isn’t leading on education.
So we have to.
Click here  to view the ad.