Our collective history dates back to 1886 with the formation of the first professional educators' organization in the state. This was the original Florida Education Association. The organization later became known as the teachers' union. It is the legacy of Florida's teachers.
In 1886, when the FEA was first formed, most Florida teachers had a sixth-grade education and no formal training in teaching. Teachers' monthly wages ranged from $20 in Gadsden County to a high of $77.50 in Polk County. A little more than $150 was spent to build a school house, at that time. During a teacher training held in Defuniak Springs at the Florida Chautauqua, the deplorable conditions of Florida’s public education became the top issue of debate. Their key concerns motivated about 700 educators to take the steps that wrote the new page in public education history. The first professional teachers association, the Florida Education Association (FEA) was founded.
The founders of FEA recognized the value of a standardized, statewide public education system, one that would guarantee every citizen the opportunity to learn and to achieve his or her highest potential, and one that fulfills the promise of a quality education for all students. Today, the Constitution of the State of Florida defines public education as the paramount duty of the state. FEA was instrumental in gaining this language in our state constitution.
Since 1886, FEA has continued to set the standard for excellence in Florida’s public schools. FEA and its members are always working to achieve higher and professional standards, and academic excellence for school employees and the students that they educate.
The Florida Education Association represents more than 250,000 teachers and education staff professional in Florida’s 67 school districts. For over a century, the FEA has been the leading advocate of raising the quality of education in Florida’s public schools, and of increasing the dignity and status of all teachers and education staff professionals.
WE are the most powerful public education advocacy group, the largest professional organization and education association in the state. WE use our united strength to improve the conditions of teaching and learning in public schools across the state for our members and our students.
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