“Bringing Voices Together” education summit draws public education supporters from across Florida

Nearly 1,000 educators, parents and community supporters came together in Orlando on May 18 for “Bringing Voices Together: An Education Summit for Florida’s Public Schools.”

In a day marked by thoughtful discussions and fiery motivational speeches, the conversation started with participants’ hopes for the summit and ended with their commitments for action in support of Florida’s neighborhood public schools.

“This conversation is about what we will do to make things better for our children,” Florida Education Association (FEA) President Fedrick Ingram told the crowd. “We do not have the answers. Today we’re asking you what you will do for our students and our schools.”

Speakers at the summit included Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT); Becky Pringle, vice president of the National Education Association (NEA); and Keron Blair, executive director of the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools; along with FEA’s President Ingram, Vice President Andrew Spar and Secretary-Treasurer Carole Gauronskas.

The summit was sponsored by the Florida Education Association and its partners in the Coalition for Florida’s Public Schools, including:

  • Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools
  • Black Women’s Roundtable
  • Equality Florida
  • Florida Education Association
  • Fund Education Now
  • Iniciativa Acción Puertorriqueña
  • League of Women Voters Florida
  • NAACP Florida State Conference
  • Pastors for Florida Children

The event was facilitated by World Café and structured as guided, small-group conversations that built both to overarching goals and to individual commitments to action, such as pledging to engage in difficult conversations — with friends, acquaintances and civic leaders — on the needs of our students and our public schools. World Cafe’s process included a graphic recording of some of the highlights of the summit.

The summit was open to anyone concerned about Florida’s public schools.

“We see this summit as the start of something big, a real grassroots movement that brings together many disparate voices for our schools,” said Ingram. “Along with the majority of people in Florida, we believe that public education is a fundamental good for this state and for the nation as a whole. But our neighborhood public schools are under attack — there’s no other way to describe it. If public education is going to have a future in Florida, it’s time for the people who care about our public schools to step forward and take control of the conversation.”

Attendees were clear that they wanted to continue the conversation, get back together to discuss the outcomes of the summit, and to give those who were unable to attend a chance to share their thoughts.

To that end the Coalition for Florida’s Public Schools will be holding a tele-town hall meeting on Thursday, June 6 at 6:00 p.m. Registration details to come.

Graphic Recordings from the “Bringing Voices Together” education summit

May 18 education summit graphic recording #1
May 18 education summit graphic recording #2
May 18 education summit graphic recording #3
May 18 education summit graphic recording #4

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

Don’t let this moment go to waste.

Crazy times provide teachable moments.Don’t let this one go to waste.by Fedrick Ingram, President of the Florida Education AssociationWhat should you say to the people in your life during a…

Read more about this story

FEA Statement on the Murder of George Floyd

The Florida Education Association recognizes the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers as an unspeakable tragedy. Sadly, police brutality against the Black community has been an ever-present occurrence;…

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

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