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Frontline

Bad Policy and Low Pay: How Florida is Undermining Student Success

Over the next few months this multi-part series will take a deep dive into the ways that Florida’s education policies have led to a full-scale crisis in the teaching profession.

Every student in Florida deserves to be in a classroom with a certified, highly-qualified, and dedicated teacher. Students deserve schools with full-time media specialists and schools that are staffed with more counselors and nurses than security guards. Florida’s students deserve the very best. Currently, Florida’s politicians are failing Florida’s future.  

Over the past two decades the Legislature and governors have shortchanged Florida’s students. Despite having a $1 trillion state economy – the 17th largest economy in the world – Florida is 43rd in the nation when it comes to total public education funding and 46th in average teacher salary. Because of this low pay and bad policies, Florida is facing an unprecedented teacher shortage – meaning all students don’t have access to the certified, professional educators they deserve and their parents expect. 

Tallahassee politicians have put their own interests, and those of their corporate donors, ahead of the interests of Florida’s children and families. Over the next few weeks we will take a deep dive into the ways that Florida’s education policies have led to a full-scale crisis in the teaching profession.  

More importantly, we’ll offer solutions that can be implemented this upcoming legislative session to get Florida back on the right track to meeting the constitutional mandate to provide a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools.” 

Part I: Low Pay — Why it matters to students and parents, how we got here, and how to recover  

Part II:  Value-Added Measures – Valuing meaningless data over high-quality instruction 

Part III: Annual Contracts An attack on teachers’ professionalism

Part IV: Test Mania – How Florida lost its focus on what matters in education 

Part V: Decade of Progress – Our vision for Florida’s public schools (coming soon)

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
COVID-19

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.

AFL-CIO Survival Guide for Unemployment

A PDF guide for working people facing unemployment.

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These are unprecedented times. But FEA members know we’re all in this together.

FEA is running a short survey to see how educators and our students are faring. Can you take the “We’re in This Together” survey?