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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. 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…

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Will I receive a raise next school year?

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Sign up for Frontline Email & Access the Frontline Archives

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

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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The College of the Florida Keys Faculty Vote to Unionize

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

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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.