Students, teachers and elected officials joined teachers in a march Friday afternoon in support of better public schools.
Leaders including Congresswoman Frederica Wilson were expected to participate in the "Walk a Mile in Our Shoes" march down Biscayne Boulevard.
The march began at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and ended at the JFK Torch of Friendship, causing partial closures of Biscayne Boulevard.
The event was organized by the United Teachers of Dade and highlighted problems with testing, revenues and funding.
Miami-Dade students rank higher than those in most school districts across the nation, but members of the teachers’ union say that is despite inadequate funding from Tallahassee.
“This year my very own son has gone through three different teachers,” said mother and teacher Lillian Santiago. “It's very hard to retain teachers because we are not being treated the way that we should.”
UTD President Fredrick Ingram zeroed in on the march's theme in a statement beforehand.
"People are excited to walk a mile in the shoes of students, parents and teachers who deserve better schools," he said. "Everyone gets it – when you test 80 days out of a 180-day school year, when revenues for our public schools are flat or falling, then our students aren’t getting what they need to succeed in the 21st century. We’re not waiting for the legislators to meet or for the ballots to be in the mail."
The teachers counted on the support of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, who said schools should be everyone's priority.
“We aspire to be a global city, but there cannot be a global city if we do not have a generation that has a great education,” he said.
Participants pledged to call the governor of Florida and have their voices be heard.
When the upcoming legislative session begins in Tallahassee, many Miami-Dade teachers will be traveling to the state capitol to ask legislators to support what they call real education in the classrooms.