Bills We're Watching This Session

SB 486 Repeal of Best and Brightest

Thank you to everyone who has taken action to end Best and Brightest over the past five years. Your advocacy has paid off!


Talking Points

  • Best and Brightest has been flawed from the very start and has failed in its stated purpose of recruiting and retaining teachers. When it comes to educator compensation, Tallahassee should restore local control and let school districts and local unions bargain how best to determine educator pay.
  • Florida’s legislators should listen to educators and use the $300 million saved by repealing best and brightest to increase salaries for all educators, not just classroom teachers.
  • Governor DeSantis has proposed keeping many of the current Best and Brightest requirements but giving the bonus a new name. If the governor gets his way, this would be Florida’s seventh bonus program in the past thirteen years. Florida’s educators don’t need another bonus program; they need an investment in their salaries.

Updated Information

Senate Bill 486, sponsored by Rob Bradley, would repeal the Best and Brightest program. This bill passed all three of its committee stops and its floor vote in the Senate with unanimous support.

What’s Next

Senate Bill 486 passed the full Senate on March 3rd. 

Companion Bill

As of yet, there is no companion bill filed in the House.

Vote History

  • 12/9/2019: Senate Education Committee: 7-0
  • 1/29/2020: Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee: 8-0
  • 2/05/2020: Senate Appropriations: 18-0
  • 3/03/2020: Senate Floor: 40-0

Our Position

We support this bill.

Video Updates:

Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee 1/29/2020 (Discussion of SB 486 begins 3:21 into the meeting)

Senate Committee on Education 12/09/2019 (Discussion of SB 486 begins 9 minutes and 48 seconds into the video)

Q&As for Florida Educators

Common questions about school closures, testing, students with IEPs, evaluations, certifications and more. Updated 3/31.

Digital Learning Resources for Educators and Parents

Resources for engaging students during the school closure

FEA Statewide Town Hall on COVID-19 

Video and transcript of March 25 town hall on the impact of coronavirus on Florida’s public education system.

Q&As and Resources for Parents

Common questions and resources for parents — including links for meals for students in need.

Advocacy Updates for

Ways for members to take action to protect students, educators, healthcare professionals and working people.

Member Benefit Resources and Links

Overview of the additional resources our benefit partners are providing to help members deal with the COVID pandemic. Updated 4/20 with Student Loan Forgiveness information.

AFL-CIO Survival Guide for Unemployment

A PDF guide for working people facing unemployment.

FAQs about the Legislature’s Salary Plan

FEA received a number of questions before and during FEA's recent Facebook Live event covering…

Read more about this story

Will I receive a raise next school year?

Don’t like what you see in the flowchart?Get in touch with your local legislators today…

Read more about this story

Sign up for Frontline Email & Access the Frontline Archives

At the end of each week, we send a recap of the goings on in…

Read more about this story

Our voices were heard: Campuses remain closed, safety comes first

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered public school campuses closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus crisis, and later directed that education should continue through distance learning. By mid-April, no decision…

Read more about this story

Best and Brightest Program Settlement

Article updated April 21, 2020 with new information. In 2017, the FEA filed a lawsuit against the Department and Florida’s school districts and other special districts in the federal court…

Read more about this story

Nationwide and in Florida, we celebrate our public schools

FEA Vice President Andrew Spar reads to students during a First Book event at a Bay County school. Public Schools Week 2020, Feb. 24-28, celebrates our nation’s public schools, our…

Read more about this story

FEA calls for education experts and stakeholders, medical professionals to guide reopening

TALLAHASSEE — ­ Florida Education Association (FEA) President Fedrick Ingram emailed the following letter to…

Read more about this story

FEA calls on governor to keep schools closed, continue distance learning

This letter from FEA President Fedrick Ingram was sent to the office of Florida Gov. Ron…

Read more about this story

The College of the Florida Keys Faculty Vote to Unionize

KEY WEST, Fla.  — Faculty at The College of the Florida Keys (CFK) have spoken…

Read more about this story

Once again, you spoke and Tallahassee listened.

All Temporary and Professional certificates that would have expired June 30, 2020 are extended to December 31, 2020 to allow teachers to complete certification courses and tests.

Read a PDF of Commissioner Corcoran’s full Emergency Order granting the extension.