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Final week before session: legislation to watch

Here are a few bills we wanted to flag a few bills that are on all of our radar:

SB 520:  This bill would ensure that the seven counties hardest hit by Hurricane Michael would not lose their school funding due to students moving to neighboring counties because of storm damage. Currently the bill does not have a House companion. FEA SUPPORTS the bill.

SB 698: This bill would repeal the union decertification language, requiring at least 50 percent of potential union members to pay dues in order for the union to remain certified, which passed as part of HB 7055 last session. Currently the bill does not have a House companion. FEA SUPPORTS the bill.

HB 839: This bill would require a survey to “measure the intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity” of universities, and the Board of Governors would report the results of the survey. The bill would also change the performance metrics and scales used to award performance funding at the state universities. Currently there is no Senate companion. UFF OPPOSES the survey provision in the bill.

HB 6007: This bill would repeal the prohibition on campus carry at our colleges and universities. Currently the bill does not have a Senate companion. FEA and UFF OPPOSE the bill.

SB 7030: There are many provisions in this bill that build upon last year’s school safety bill. Yet we are very concerned with a provision that could bring more guns into our schools.  If SB 7030 becomes law it would require local sheriff’s offices to provide the Guardian training if the school board votes to participate. It would also remove the prohibition on arming classroom teachers if they volunteer to participate in the Guardian program. Last year teachers were excluded from the Guardian program by the school safety bill. SB 7030 has two committee references: the committees on Infrastructure and Security, and Appropriations. There is not currently a House companion to SB 7030.  FEA OPPOSES the inclusion of classroom teachers in the Guardian program but takes no position on other provisions of the bill.  

Op-ed: New bill threatens federal financial aid for Florida’s students

This column was originally published on Feb. 20, 2022, by the South Florida Sun Sentinel. By ANDREW GOTHARD, UFF President  The beatings will continue until morale improves. Such is the…

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UFF leads fight for intellectual freedom

University of Florida students and faculty gather Nov. 12, 2021, to advocate for free speech and academic freedom. The United Faculty of Florida, FEA’s higher education affiliate, has stepped forward…

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Celebrating American Education Week

Neighborhood public schools are a vital part of our communities, and about 90 percent of Florida’s students are educated in public schools. Join us in celebrating public education and all…

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NEA report: Florida’s teachers still among nation’s worst paid

As inflation grows and despite investments by the Legislature, Florida’s teachers remain stuck near the bottom nationally when it comes to average pay, according to new figures released today by…

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For students to learn anything, Florida needs educators

As Gov. DeSantis today signs HB 7, a bill based on a manufactured political narrative, the Florida Education Association (FEA) must call out the fact that our students would be…

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New law promotes falsehoods about schools, will aggravate shortage of teachers and staff

By signing the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Gov. DeSantis has put a political agenda ahead of what’s best for our students.

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