Miami-Dade teachers are still waiting to cash in their $281 debit cards for supplies -- six weeks into the school year.
Gov. Rick Scott pushed the state-funded cards last year. Lawmakers said they intended the cards to be used prior to the school year.
"Basically it’s an issue of making sure that the teachers who spend the money will be the teachers who spend the year in the classrooms," said Miami Herald education reporter Christina Veiga.
School officials said they they didn't want to have to worry about tracking down cards from teachers who left their jobs. But, as the Miami Herald reports, teachers say it's a big inconvenience:
“We have a big issue with those cards,” said Antonio White, who spent $250 to prepare his classroom at Jose Marti MAST Academy. “I don’t know who came up with the idea of paying us after the school year starts.”
Those who have waited are equally as upset.
“That’s six weeks of school that I have to go without having supplies for my classroom,” teacher Ellen Elias said. “How many other jobs are expected to go six weeks without supplies and be effective?”
Including charter schools, more than 21,000 teachers work in Miami-Dade County schools. "In an ideal world, we would be able to give the teachers the money so they could buy what they need before school starts," Judith Marte, the district's CFO, told the Miami Herald. "But it wouldn't make sense in a district this size. We are literally hiring [new teachers] until the day before school starts."