fbpx

History

1886: The Florida Education Association was formed.

Teachers from around the state met at Chautauqua Hall in Defuniak Springs. Frustrated with their low pay and poor working conditions, they realized that they could improve conditions by working together and established the Florida Education Association.

1966: The all-white Florida Education Association merged with all-black American Teacher Association

Following the Supreme Court Decision in Brown vs. Board of Education and the lead of the national merger between the National Education Association and the American Teacher Association, FEA became one of the first states in the South to merge its white and black teacher unions.

1967: Teacher strikes began to occur in several counties around the state including Pinellas and Broward.

Upset that the Governor vetoed a state budget which would had ensured a minimum teacher salary of $5,000, teachers in isolated areas around the state went out on strike. This would be a precursor of what was to come.

1968: Florida became the first state in the nation to have a state-wide teacher walkout.

Tens of thousands of teachers—around 40% of all teachers statewide—turned in their resignations causing schools in over two-thirds of Florida’s schools districts to close down. While the duration of the walkouts varied around the state, many teachers were out for weeks or even months. Quite a few teachers were never able to return to their job.

1974: Florida Education Association split into two organizations.

Disagreements over how to best move an agenda forward let to a statewide split with some locals choosing to affiliate with the National Education Association while others affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers.

2000: Merger!

Almost three decades after FEA split — realizing that there was strength in unity — the Florida Teaching Profession (NEA) and FEA-United (AFT) joined together to once again become the Florida Education Association. In so doing, FEA became the second statewide union to become a dual affiliate of the NEA and the AFT (there are now five “merged” states).

2006: The Florida Supreme Court rules taxpayer-funded vouchers are unconstitutional in the case of Bush vs. Holmes.

In a win for public schools and all of Florida’s students, the Supreme Court struck down the “Opportunity” Voucher which was signed into law by Jeb Bush in 2005. Former FEA President Ruth Holmes was the named defendant and ultimately prevailed in FEA’s mission to ensure taxpayer money was not diverted to unaccountable private and religious schools.

2018: Another big win in court.

Florida’s Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) placed an amendment on the ballot which would have allowed entities other than public school districts to have oversight of public schools. Amendment 8 would have allowed political appointees or even for-profit corporations to control when and where charter schools would be established. A group of public-education allies, including FEA sued to keep the amendment off the ballot and Florida’s Supreme Court agreed that the amendment should not be on the ballot because it was misleading.

2019: Fund Our Future campaign launched

Fund Our Future is a statewide campaign to advocate for and shine a light on the needs of Florida’s public school students.

Locked out, but never knocked out

Despite pandemic restrictions, FEA members found numerous ways to speak up for students, public education, and our freedoms and working conditions

Read more about this story

Cover Story: The advocate’s advocate

From the time he entered the classroom in 1958, Ulysses Floyd has been working to improve conditions for Florida’s students and educators.

Read more about this story

Andrew Spar: We continue the fight for Florida to ‘Fund Our Future’

So many of the events of the past year have had a profound effect on our lives. I’d like to begin with a review.Last January, we came to Tallahassee and…

Read more about Andrew Spar: We continue the fight for Florida to ‘Fund Our Future’

Reducing high-stakes testing is a win for students, schools

Today’s move to drop high-stakes Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) testing in the 2022-2023 school year is a big win for our students and public schools. It will free up time…

Read more about Reducing high-stakes testing is a win for students, schools

On top of Covid, add a huge shortage of teachers and staff

FEA survey finds nearly 5,000 teaching vacancies, more than 3,700 open staff jobs. To a resurgent pandemic and a divisive debate over masks, add one more looming issue facing Florida’s…

Read more about On top of Covid, add a huge shortage of teachers and staff

United Faculty of Florida Joins Suit Against State to Defend Freedoms of Students and Faculty

The United Faculty of Florida believes that all Floridians — no matter where we’re from or what we look like — deserve good jobs, healthy and safe communities, and a…

Read more about United Faculty of Florida Joins Suit Against State to Defend Freedoms of Students and Faculty