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 score requirement of the Florida’s Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program had an illegal “disparate impact” on classroom teachers based on their Black and Hispanic race, that the SAT/ACT score requirement was not required by education necessity, and that it was not related to teachers’ job performance.
After nearly two years of litigation, the FEA and the individual teachers who acted as class representatives have reached a settlement of the case with the Department. The settlement resulted in the repeal of the Program’s SAT/ACT requirement and creates a fund of $15,500,000 to be paid to eligible Black and Hispanic class members who submit claims. A portion of the fund will be used to pay the costs of administering the settlement, the FEA’s attorney’s fees, and compensation to individual teacher class representatives for their service in the case. The federal court has preliminary approved the settlement.
Under the settlement, notice containing a detailed explanation of the settlement, including how to file claims, has been sent on December 19, 2019, by U.S. Mail to all Black and Hispanic teachers that the FEA and the Department, working with the school districts, have determined are settlement class members. Those settlement class members have also been sent an email regarding the settlement.
If you do not receive a notice by U.S. Mail or the email described above, but you nonetheless believe you qualify for settlement class membership, you have the opportunity to demonstrate that you satisfy the criteria for class membership set forth in the Settlement Agreement. To view the criteria and/or to establish satisfaction of class membership criteria, please go to www.BestBrightestSettlement.com.
For more information on the settlement please go to www.BestBrightestSettlement.com.