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2020 Legislative Session

This page is your one-stop shop for all the resources you need to follow along with this legislative session and to successfully advocate for students, educators and public education.

Take Action

Reach out to your legislators and let them know why it is imperative they Fund Our Future.

You know how two decades of chronic underfunding has hurt Florida’s students. Now, it’s time to share your stories of understaffed and under-resourced schools are negatively impacting the 2.8 million students who attend Florida’s public schools.

Simply enter your home address below to get the contact information for your legislators.  

Find Your Legislators

Type in your address below to find the contact information for your legislators.

 

When communicating with your legislator(s), remember to always be professional and to keep your comments brief and focused on one specific topic.

The Week Ahead:

Full weekly calendar for the House and Senate. Highlights of the week are below.

Note: Agendas for the meetings are not typically available until two days in advance.

As soon as the meetings have an agenda, we’ll post a link to it as well and highlight any important bills on the agenda.

We’ll also share the committee packet which includes the full text of the bills before the committee and the staff analysis of those bills.

Note: Times below are when the committees are authorized to meet; they may not actually schedule a meeting during that time. However, they cannot meet outside of those times.

Schedule for Week 2

Monday, January 20, 2020

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Friday, January 24, 2020

Archived Weekly Schedules

Week 1 (January 13-17)

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Bills We’re Watching:

The below list does not include all of the bills our lobbyists are actively monitoring but focuses on the ones that stand to impact you and your students the most. The list will undoubtedly change in the weeks ahead; this is not meant to be a static list.

Clicking on any of the bills below will take you to that bill’s page where you can find all of the most up-to-date information on the bill including FEA talking points.

Interested in a bill that’s not on the below list? Click here learn more on how you can receive real-time updates on any bill of interest to you.

Bills We Support 

  • HB 643 — Creates a remedy to ensure inclusion of prekindergarten teachers in the definition of Instructional Personnel
  • HB 819/SB 1320 — Requires a university to waive the cost of fees for certain Graduate Assistants
  • SJR 1364 — Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution, limits DOE’s ability to interfere in collective bargaining between the local union and school boards to set wages, hours, and terms & conditions for school employees
  • SR 964 — Recognizes the hard work of Educational Staff Professionals through a resolution
  • SB 486 — Repeals the Best & Brightest bonuses for both teachers and principals
  • HB 929 — Requires parents to provide written consent for students to participate in district-required local assessments and statewide assessments such as the FSA
  • HB 1359 –Provides the opportunity for annual contract teachers to receive a multi-year contract

Bills We Oppose

  • HB 1/SB 804 –Requires union members to rejoin their union every year
  • HJR 157/ SJR 1216 –Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to provide school board term limits
  • SB 360 –Limits local decision making in regard to spending
  • HB 613–Requires each college and university to annually survey students on intellectual freedom and diversity on campus and requires the Board of Governors and State Board of Education to annually publish a report of findings with the intent of limiting academic freedom
  • SB 1400Adopts the Governor’s minimum base salary requirement for teachers to $47,500, and expands the Florida Tax Credit voucher eligibility from 185% to 300% of the federal poverty level
  • HB 6001 –Repeal the ban on campus carry for Florida’s colleges and universities allowing guns on campus

Ways to Stay Connected

Here are quick and easy ways you can stay connected and on top of the issues during session:

Sign up for email Action Alerts.



FEA Legislative Policy Agenda: Fund Our Future

Florida’s abysmal record on education has resulted in over a decade of neglect for our schools and our children. After years of hurtful policies and neglect, we are calling for a Decade of Progress for Florida’s Public Schools.

FACTS:

  • Florida ranks 43rd in the nation in per-student expenditures.
  • Florida ranks 46th in the nation in teacher pay — more than $12,000 behind the national average.
  • Florida has nearly 50,000 education staff professionals who earn a wage below the national poverty level for a family of four.
  • Florida’s base student allocation (BSA) has only increased by $116 or 2.8% since the 2007-08 school year.
  • Florida’s overall per-student funding has only increased by $369 or 5% since the 2007-08 school year.
  • The average cost of living has increased by 21.7% between 2008 and 2019.
  • In 2014-15 the millage rate for the required local effort (RLE) was 5.183. In 2019-20 the millage rate for the required local effort is 3.927, handicapping school districts’ ability to pay for educational needs.
  • Florida began the 2019-2020 school year with more than 3,500 teacher vacancies. More than 300,000 students started the school year without a full-time, certified teacher in the classroom.
  • Florida spends half the national average on funding per full-time university student.
  • Graduate assistants in our universities teach up to 30% of undergraduate courses but pay up to 25% of their teaching stipends on university fees.

VISION:

  • Over the next decade, Florida will be in the TOP 10 in the nation in per-student funding.
  • Over the next decade, Florida will be in the TOP 10 in the nation in teacher pay.
  • Over the next decade, Florida will be in the TOP 10 in the nation in education staff professional pay.
  • Over the next decade, Florida will lead the nation in a system of higher education that recognizes and values faculty and graduate assistant contributions to the work of our colleges and universities.

THE 2020 LEGISLATIVE SESSION:

  • The Decade of Progress is a 10-year investment of $22 billion in education funding through 2030.
  • Lawmakers must make a serious down payment in 2020. An investment of $2.4 billion represents a 10% increase in per-student funding. While that sounds like a lot, it will only move Florida up four spots in the national rankings.
  • This investment would increase per-student funding by $767, of which at least $614 must go to base student allocation, the flexible money under local district control.
  • This investment would allow for across-the-board pay increases of 10% for every public school employee in Florida — teachers, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, secretaries, librarians, social workers, cafeteria workers, etc.
  • This investment will restore electives including art, music and drama. It will provide additional funding for lab materials, so students don’t just read about STEM, but also can engage in it.
  • This investment will ensure students have increased access to mental health services — school counselors, social workers and school psychologists will be more readily available to assist struggling students and families.
  • This investment would allow for Florida’s districts to better address struggling schools that have suffered under decades of underfunding.

Click here to see the entire FEA 2020 Legislative Agenda

Frontline Email Archive

At the end of each week, we send a recap of the goings on in the Legislature. You can sign up here to be added to the e-mail list and browse the archive of Frontline emails below:

Week 1: Working towards meaningful salary increases 

HB 6001 – Firearms on College/University Campus

Updated Information HB 6001, filed by Anthony Sabatini and co-sponsored by Mike Hill and Stan…

Read more about this story

SB 1400 – Governor DeSantis’ Pay Proposal

Updated Information SB 1400, filed by Manny Diaz contains Governor DeSantis’ education spending ideas including his…

Read more about SB 1400 – Governor DeSantis’ Pay Proposal

HB 613 – “Intellectual Freedom”

Updated Information  HB 613, originally filed by Ray Rodrigues and since replaced with a Committee…

Read more about HB 613 – “Intellectual Freedom”

Thousands of Floridians Rally for Public Education on January 13

The Take on Tallahassee Rally brought a sea of red-clad public education stakeholders and supporters to Florida’s capital city on Jan. 13. Demonstrators took their case straight to lawmakers’ doorstep

Read more about the rally

2020 Legislative Session Resources

This page is your one-stop shop for all the resources you need to follow along with this legislative session and to successfully advocate for students, educators and public education.

Read more about this story

Best and Brightest Program Settlement

In 2017, the FEA filed a lawsuit against the Department and Florida’s school districts and other special districts in the federal court in Tallahassee.  The lawsuit claims that the SAT/ACT…

Read more about this story

FEA: DeSantis fails to provide real solutions for public schools

TALLAHASSEE — Thousands of educators and supporters delivered the “state of the state” for public…

Read more about this story

Thousands to rally in state capital Jan. 13 for students, public schools

TALLAHASSEE — Thousands of public education stakeholders and supporters will “Take on Tallahassee” on Monday,…

Read more about this story

While the governor proposes a stay-the-course plan, we have a truly bold vision for Florida’s schools

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Education Association (FEA) is calling for a truly bold vision for…

Read more about this story