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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.  

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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Op-ed: Curing Covid wouldn’t fix teacher, staff shortages

The reports of severe staffing shortages in our schools keep coming. In districts throughout the state, there aren’t enough people to teach, transport, feed and otherwise care for Florida’s students.…

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New numbers make clear the severity of staff shortages in our schools

As senators may take up a bill Tuesday that would help get more support staff working in our schools, a new count of advertised vacancies makes clear just how desperate…

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Governor’s education plan falls short — all of Florida’s children deserve strong public schools

As we enter a third pandemic year, Florida’s public schools are facing a significant crisis. Every student has been affected by disruptions related to Covid. Second-graders have never experienced a…

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FEA: We look forward to finding solutions that truly meet students’ needs

As Gov. DeSantis releases his state budget recommendations for 2022-2023, the Florida Education Association (FEA) is looking ahead to the legislative session and what needs to happen for our students,…

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