Democratic state House candidate Anna Eskamani has received the endorsement of the Florida Education Association in her quest to be elected in House District 47.

“FEA has chosen to endorse your candidacy for the office of House District 47. This endorsement is a recognition of your advocacy for teachers and support professionals, as well as your support for neighborhood public schools in Florida,” Joanne McCall, president of FEA, stated in a news release issued by Eskamani’s campaign Thursday morning.

Eskamani, of Orlando, recently picked up a Democratic primary challenger, Lou Forges, but has built both a deep ground game and a huge campaign fund heading toward the August 28 primary. The winner gets the Republican nominee from the primary, either businessman Stockton Reeves VI of Winter Park or lawyer Mikaela Nix of Orlando.

HD 47 covers north and central Orange County, including downtown Orlando. Republican incumbent state Rep. Mike Miller is stepping down to run for Congress.

Eskamani has declared protecting public education as one of her top legislative priorities, and this past week she signed onto the teacher’s union’s Candidate Pledge to improve teacher and education staff salaries too.

“I am a proud graduate of Orange County Public Schools and a passionate protector of public education. I am grateful to the teachers who supported me in my growth and development, and know that our schools will not thrive if we do not support our teachers,” she stated in the release. “Teachers deserve improved pay, access to leadership development experiences, and to be treated as professionals by allowing them to have the freedom to teach beyond a test. We must invest n public education, and not divert tax dollars to private for-profit charter schools. Education is a right for all students regardless of color, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ability. Students should be safe in our schools too, with teachers never armed.”

On Thursday Eskamani also challenged the Florida Legislature’s latest schools package, noting that the Republican leadership touted a $101.50 per student increase in public education. All but $.47 of that funding is mandated to be spent for new obligations being imposed on school districts, she noted.

“That $.47 is supposed to be used by school districts to provide teachers raises, fund new educational programs, and manage other inflationary operating costs,” she stated. “It’s a joke, how do the same state leaders that attack public schools as “failure factories” then turn around and starve our public schools by not providing adequate funding? Ultimately it will be our children that pay the price.”

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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