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[Susan notes: The destructive Florida SB6 passed in the senate, 21 to 17. All Democrats voted no and 4 Republicans joined the Dems and crossed party lines to vote, NO.



Natalie Holland exhibited class by writing to one of the Republicans in her county who voted no. ]

Submitted to Florida State Senator but not published
03/24/2010

Dear Ms. Dockery,

As an educator who works tirelessly on behalf of my students; I wanted to send you a quick email to say, "Thank you" for your No vote today on Senate Bill 6.



As a child, my teachers taught me in school that if I worked hard, I could

be anything I wanted to be. Anyone I ever wanted to be was a teacher. I wanted to be like them and make a difference like they did.



Despite a wretched home situation, I did study hard and became the first person in my family ever to graduate college (with a 3.8 GPA to boot). My studying and motivation stemmed from the confidence and encouragement of these educators whom touched my life.



I worked my way through college as a manager at McDonald's. I took a pay cut to go from McDonald's into my profession of teaching.



I teach my children to have high expectations for themselves as I have high expectations for them. I would do this with or without a standardized test. I push them to be everything they can be and to know that they are just as smart as anyone else. I challenge them to use sophisticated vocabulary words and to read any book that they can get in their grasp. I teach them to keep trying even when learning proves difficult.



I also teach them education is important. I have just completed my first year of my master's degree, and am appalled that with this new bill, the legislators indeed throw insults at the very thing they claim they value. Teachers will receive NO pay for advanced degrees. Legislators are saying "education doesn't matter." I have learned a lot in my master's program, but that is a pretty expensive investment just to do without any type of modest raise on my meager income.



By voting "NO" on this bill, you helped protect the professionalism of all the teachers. The professionalism that is required to go into a career everyday despite my massive student loan debt, my long hours, and huge task of bringing children in a culture of poverty to the level of their suburban peers. The professionalism to know that I don't do this for some pot of gold at the end of a standardized test. I do this so my children will be life long learners, will value intelligence, and will appreciate the value of reading and education.



Unfortunately, your efforts and the efforts of your colleagues did not pay off. However, I realize it takes a lot to go against the grain and vote differently than many in your party.



Thank you again. You did the right thing.







Natalie Holland


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