FEA Fights for You

The FEA has been fighting for teachers, education staff professionals and students for more than a century.

Seeds of Change: FEA Union Activism
Florida Education Association: 40 Years of Education Union Activism

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  • FEA Argues Before Florida Supreme Court for State Employees in Pensions Challenge

  • Florida Administrative law Judge John G. Van Laningham invalidated in its entirety a State Board of Education and Department of Education rule established for the implementation of The Student Success Act (SB-736 Teacher Evaluations)

  • Favorable Ruling from State Court in FEA Pension Challenge

  • 2012 Legislative Victory- FEA Stopped Anti- Union Bills
    Prison Privatization
    Paycheck Protection
    PEN Protection
    Parent Trigger
  • FEA Files FL-Department of Education Rules Challenge Opposing Implementation of The Student Success Act (SB-736 Teacher Evaluations)


  • FEA Files SB-736 Legal Challenge
  • FEA Sues the State of Florida Challenging the 3% Pension Tax on State workers
  • Senate Bill 736 –Passes 


  • Supported and helped to passed the Education Jobs Bill in Congress, which helped keep teachers and other education workers from being laid off.
  • Supported and helped to pass health care reform in Congress, assuring that many of our students became covered by insurance.
  • Helped to pass Amendments 5 and 6, which set up a mechanism for the drawing of more fair legislative districts.
  • Lobbied against and helped stop in court Amendment 7, which would have made the passage of Amendments 5 and 6 moot.
  • Drafted and passed the bus driver bill - SB 1058.
  • Stopped wholesale changes to the Florida Retirement System.
  • Defeated a proposed constitutional amendment that would have paved the way for universal vouchers for all.
  • Objected to and unified support of locals to decline participation in the first round of the federal Race to the Top grant proposal.
  • Increased stakeholder support, participation and encouraged locals to sign on to the successful second round of Race to the Top.


  • Successfully steered all gaming proceeds to supplement the public education budget- SB 788.
  • Helped to draft language that won the right for unions to acts as supplemental education providers.
  • Organized a statewide Penny for Schools movement to raise awareness on increased funding for the education budget.
  • Stopped a bill on the 65 percent solution that would have directed 65 percent of every dollar to be spend in the classroom, while virtually eliminating funding for all other areas.
  • Stopped a TABOR (acronym comes from the term Taxpayers Bill of Rights) proposal that would have limited the amount of money a municipality could raise to help fund its schools.
  • Stopped the first anti-teacher-contract bill (The precursor of SB 6-type bills) - HB 1411.
  • Helped to implement the credible use of federal stimulus funds.


  • Added revised language to the Florida statutes to improve the Anti-Bullying Bill - HB 669.
  • Passed language to establish the Workplace Safety Acts - HB 967.
  • Redirected and reshaped the Ethics in Education Act - SB 1712.
  • Revised the A-Plus plan with new high school grading policies – SB 1908.
  • Helped to defeat a bill that would have required the teaching of evolution in science classes - SB 2692.
  • Successfully won legal challenges on proposed constitutional amendments from the Tax and Budget Reform Commission, including an 18-month lobbying effort that outright defeated proposals weakening class size rules and establishing TABOR.


  • Defeated vouchers for low performing schools - SB 2380.
  • Stopped school district breakup proposals - SB 2428.
  • Successfully negotiated implementation of MAP, which was a merit pay proposal that was vastly superior to those imposed by the Florida Department of Education  - SB 1226.


  • Passed some accountability for charter schools.
  • Won repeal of the BEST/Performance Pay Career Ladder law - HB 388.
  • Helped to maintain a positive number in the total education budget.
  • Forced repeal and revision of STAR and E-Comp merit pay plans.
  • Elected Alex Sink CFO, Charlie Justice to the Florida Senate, and Ron Klein to the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Re-elected Republican Alex Villalobos to the Florida Senate, despite a multimillion dollar effort by Jeb Bush to defeat him.


  • Passed the Paperwork Reduction Bill - HB 281.
  • Passed language requiring the Legislature to budget on three-year outlooks - SB 2144.
  • Passed voucher accountability legislation.
  • Passed two-mill flexibility language - SB 57.
  • Stopped a TABOR proposal- SB 362.
  • Defeated a huge voucher bill - HB 439.
  • Stopped the weakening of the class size language - SB 2090.
  • Offered to legislators a reasonable approach to class size, which is in vogue again in 2011 - HB 813 – Simmons.
  • Stopped Academic Freedom Higher Ed Bill - HB 837.
  • Helped to maintain a positive number in the total education budget.


  • Passed a code of conduct bill limiting use of cell phones and pagers - SB 184.
  • Limited terminal pay for administrators, but retained it for educators - SB 300.
  • Successful implementation of Universal Pre-K program.
  • Stopped food service privatization - HB 1773.
  • Put the 60 percent threshold in place, requiring all future constitutional amendments on the ballot to pass with 60 percent voter approval - HB 1723.
  • Helped to maintain a positive number in the total education budget.


  • Made improvement to the Teacher Authority Act -- a bill FEA drafted and passed - SB 30A.
  • Amended Charter School bill to include significant Charter Accountability Language - HB 55A.
  • Defeated Paycheck Deception Bill - HB 1357.
  • Defeated Anti-Collective Bargaining Bill for teachers - HB 173.
  • Defeated Privatization Bill HB 29.
  • Defeated a repeal of class size provisions - HB 1295.
  • Defeated class size voucher legislation- HB 45.
  • Defeated anti-collective bargaining on resolution of impasse - HB 1421.
  • Helped to maintain a positive number in the total education budget.


  • School Code Rewrite -- stopped all bad changes and maintained every significant provision FEA wanted (a nine-month project).
  • Preserved university boards as agent for collective bargaining.2000    FTP-NEA and FEA United Merger.  The New FEA was formed.
    2000    FES Defined Contribution Option Established
  • Maintained full credit for teaching experience.
  • Kept the FEFP as Florida's funding formula.
  • Passed ESOL exception and credit.
  • Drafted and passed compensation for National Board Certification -HB 807.
  • Drafted and passed a bill which allowed school boards to be a part of Growth Management/Concurrency laws - SB 1906.
  • Defeated Universal Vouchers - HB 1587.
  • Defeated Privatization - HB 217.
  • Defeated provision of non-certified teachers in charter schools -HB 1665.
  • Helped to maintain a positive number in the total education budget.


  • Helped to maintain a positive number in the total education budget.
  • Defeated effort to give vouchers to students in overcrowded schools.- HB 303.
  • Passed Charter School Accountability on sponsorship and oversight - HB 269.
  • Defeated an effort to allow a rival organization (PEN) to administer liability insurance.
  • Defeated an effort to privatize school services.
  • Defeated Paycheck Deception.
  • Defeated provision to limit union use of funds to just bargaining.
  • Helped pass Sharpen the Pencil Act, which is a mart accounting of school districts budgets and spending habits. This helped districts use best financial practices and smartly use state financial resources.
  • Passed Barry Grunow Act, which provides benefits for the families of teachers who are killed on the job.  
  • Weakened the Educator Liability Insurance Act.
  • Passed DROP extension for teachers.
  • Defeated sick leave limitations bill - SB 638.


  • FTP-NEA and FEA United Merger.  The New FEA was formed.
  • FES Defined Contribution Option Established


  • Florida Retirement System (FRS) Surplus (Over 100% Funded) (No Direct Benefit for Employees)


  • Last Health Insurance Subsidy Increase (Effective 1/1/99)
  • Dale Hickam Excellent Teaching Program Becomes Law (National Board Certification)
  • Optional Career Development Plan for ESPs
  • Jeb Bush Elected Florida Gov. (Progress Slows- Vouchers, Charter Schools, etc.)


  • Stopped Efforts to Eliminate Due Process
  • Teacher Lead Program Created
  • DROP Becomes Law


  • Law Regulating Administering Medications
  • Teacher Authority Act
  • Florida Legislature Funds Class Size Reduction


  • Terminal Pay Protected


  • ESP Fair Dismissal


  • UFF Lawsuit to Restore Pay Raise


  • Blueprint 2000


  • Child Abuse Investigations involving schools were placed under school district jurisdiction s and not a state agency (2006 Law reverses 1990 Law and charges Department of Children and Families with school related child abuse investigations)


  • FEA Reclaim Education’s Share (RES) Campaign


  • Health Insurance Subsidy


  • Rights Pertaining to Personnel Files
  • Professional Service Contracts


  • Average Teacher Pay Increases by 45%


  • Teachers Gain Up to 6 Paid Holidays
  • ESP Terminal Pay


  • Sick Leave Bank


  • 30 Year Retirement


  • First Negotiated Contracts:  Planning Time and Duty Free Lunch


  • Bargaining Statute Enacted (Chapter 447)
  • FRS Non-Contributory
  • Accrual of Sick Leave and Paid Personal Leave


  • Florida Retirement System Created


  • Florida Teacher Salary Increases 18%


  • Florida Teacher Strike – the first statewide teacher walkout in U.S. history
  • Constitutional Right to Collective Bargaining


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