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We need your help! Your union wants you to grade Florida's testing system! Just click on the following link and take a few minutes to fill out the ‘report card' that best suits you to let us know what you think. Click here to assess the test.

                                     

Watch our latest “pre-session” update on vouchers: In 2014, FEA filed two lawsuits challenging vouchers. One lawsuit challenged the illegal way the Legislature expanded the tax-credit voucher program during the last legislative session, when lawmakers attached two previously defeated measures expanding vouchers onto an unrelated education measure. A Tallahassee judge has dismissed that lawsuit on procedural grounds – and we’re considering appealing his December 28 ruling. The FEA has 30 days to weigh the option for this appeal. The substantive issues of the lawsuit – that the Legislature illegally forwarded two laws that had previously been rejected – were never heard by the court. The voucher proponents advanced only procedural obstacles in order to block our attempts to argue that the Legislature passed these laws in violation of their own rules and the state constitution. The second lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the tax-credit voucher program. Opponents have challenged us to drop this lawsuit. But, when it comes to standing up for our students, we never hold back and we never give up. We will once again take it as far as the Florida Supreme Court if necessary. We will not drop the lawsuit. We will not back down.

The next hearing on this case is scheduled for Monday, February 9, in Tallahassee. We’ll keep you posted on further developments in both cases. Click here to watch the video. 

                   

Take a look at our third pre-session update: The third installement of our series is on teacher evaluations. Teachers across Florida are being non-renewed because they are not "a good fit". What is not a good fit? Good fit for whom? The current evaluations system is based off of flawed data, and is obviously not working. We need to give credit where credit is due. Click here to watch the third video.

                  

Our second update is ready for viewing: This is the second installment in the series. It is about standardized testing, an issue that Florida public school students, teachers and parents are far too familiar with. Click here to watch the second video.

                  

Getting ready for the legislative session: In years past, we released weekly session update videos on myfeatv.com to keep our membership updated. This year, we are adding something new. In addition to those videos, we will periodically be releasing “pre-session” updates. Their focus will be on our core issues – issues that we have been fighting for since the beginning. Click here to watch the first video.

                    Class Size Video 

Thank you: Andy Ford, Joanne McCall, and the rest of the FEA want to thank ALL of our members for the amazing work they do every day! Watch our video here.

                    

FEA Governance Board Passes Resolution: On Saturday, the FEA Governance Board passed the attached resolution calling for an immediate halt to the misuse and abuse of testing.  In addition, the resolution demands that until autonomy is returned to local school districts to decide what is best for their student population and can develop a fair and accurate system of assessing student performance, the State of Florida must provide a legitimate process for parents and students to decline participation in these educationally unsound tests. Clearly, this debate must continue and educators must speak out.  But the threat of retribution is real.  School employees – particularly teachers who hold professional certificates -- must be aware of the difference between advocating for policy change and encouraging disregard for current statute. Read the resolution.

FEA VP answering questions about the tax credit voucher lawsuit.FEA, other education stakeholder groups, and individuals file suit to declare Florida tax credit voucher program unconstitutional: The Florida Education Association (FEA), joined by other public education stakeholders and individuals, filed a lawsuit today in Tallahassee challenging the constitutionality of the state’s tax credit voucher program.FEA is joined in the lawsuit by several individuals -- FEA Vice President Joanne McCall; state Sen. Geraldine Thompson; Bob Jones, a public school principal and immediate past president of the Florida Association of School Administrators; Rabbi Merrill Shapiro, Reverend Harry Parrott, Jr., and Reverend Harold Brockus, who are all affiliated with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Besides those individuals, other public education stakeholders involved in this lawsuit are the Florida School Boards Association, the Florida PTA, the Florida Association of School Administrators, the Florida NAACP and the League of Women Voters of Florida. The suit names Gov. Rick Scott, the members of the Florida Cabinet, the state education commissioner and the state departments of Revenue and Education as defendants. Read more.

How Does Florida's Expanded Tax Credit Scholarship Law Compare Nationally? Political leaders and school blackboardeducation reformers firmly support diverting tax dollars from public education to religious and private schools. In fact, Florida is among 14 states that have tax-credit scholarship programs, and several have set much higher income caps than Florida's. Read about this alarming trend.

 

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Get Involved: Reclaim the Promise: Parents Overwhelmingly Choose Strong Neighborhood Public Schools over Charters, Choice, Vouchers: "When teachers and parents join together, we can be an unstoppable force to fulfill the promise of education as a pathway to opportunity for all children," says AFT President Randi Weingarten. View the Nationwide Poll.

Global Exploration for Educators Organization GEEO helps teachers explore the world and inspire students to gain a better understanding of different cultures. Spend this summer exploring with (GEEO) Global Exploration for Educators Organization, an organization providing affordable travel opportunities for teachers and ESPs. GEEO offers more than a tour by including  educational aspects to your trip. It's time to pack your bags and check out GEEO.
First Book: We read without thinking about the millions of youngsters who have never owned or read a book. Placing that first book in their hands can transform their lives. Reading can improve academic success. That's why we are asking you to participate in First Book. Register here: http://booksforkids.firstbook.org/register/?rgst=aft

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