Did your legislator protect public education during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions?
For the past two decades the Legislature has graded teachers, education staff professionals and schools, as well as students. The Florida Education Association decided it’s about time that legislators get a grade for their work as well.
The FEA Legislative Report Card measures Florida legislators’ overall support for public education during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions, with each lawmaker receiving a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F.
Enter your address below to see what combined grade your legislators received.
The FEA Legislative Report Card measures Florida legislators’ overall support for public education — including students, teachers, and education staff professionals. A score of “NIA” or “NIO” indicate the legislator was either not in attendance (NIA) or office (NIO) for that session.
Scores and letter grades are based on the following criteria:
- Committee and floor votes during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions and interim committee weeks;
- Behind-the-scenes work to advance or impede FEA priority issues; and
- Accessibility of the legislator and staff in Tallahassee, FL to FEA staff and leaders
Additionally, emphasis continues to be given to votes and other actions involving union rights. We believe it is important to hold lawmakers accountable at a time when both public and private sector unions and the right to bargain collectively are under severe attack.
Some of the bills include taking away union protections; expands and creates new vouchers for students to attend private school; permits teachers and education staff to carry concealed weapons on campus; prohibits a school board from granting extension of contracts for effective or highly effective teachers and support personnel; and changes the timeframe for a school that receives a D or F to be turned over to a for-profit charter company; etc.
The following votes were scored for the 2017 session:
- HB 11: Revising certification of collective bargaining units and providing for revocation of bargaining units under certain circumstances. FEA OPPOSED.
- HB 15: Changes the Gardiner Scholarship Program and the Voucher program. FEA was neutral on the Gardiner Scholarship but OPPOSED to the expansion of vouchers included in final floor vote.
- HB 303/SB 436: Creates unnecessary changes to how Florida’s student and teachers express their religious beliefs. FEA worked to amend HB 303 but ultimately OPPOSED SB 436.
- HB 373/SB 856: Restricts superintendents and school boards from creating local policies to retain effective or highly effective teachers. FEA OPPOSED.
- HB 549: Revises testing in Florida. FEA SUPPORTS the final version passed by the Senate.
- HB 773/SB 926: Revises testing in Florida. Promises to create “fewer, better tests” but did not. FEA worked to amend the legislation, but ultimately OPPOSED HB 773 and was NEUTRAL on SB 926.
- SB 1314: Amends the voucher program. FEA OPPOSED.
- SB 1552: Created the Best and Brightest Principal bonus program and was amended in committee to include wrap-around services for low performing schools. FEA OPPOSED the initial bonus program but SUPPORTED the inclusion of wrap-around services for students.
- HB 5007/SB 7030/SB 7022: Changes the pension plan to default employees into the 401K retirement plan. FEA OPPOSED.
- HB 5103/SB 376: Requires school districts to share their capital outlay funding and discretionary millage with charter schools. FEA OPPOSED.
- HB 5105: Revising school improvement and turnaround plans, creating so-called “schools of hope” program. FEA OPPOSED.
- HB 7069: Creates Best and Brightest Principal Bonus program, pre-conference bill. FEA OPPOSED.
- HB 7069: omnibus education package post conference. FEA OPPOSED.
The following votes were scored for the 2018 session:
- HB 1/SB 1172: Creation of a new voucher using sales tax to send students to private school without the verification of a claim of bullying, harassment or fighting on campus. FEA OPPOSED.
- HB 25: Revising certification of collective bargaining units and providing for revocation of bargaining units under certain circumstances. FEA OPPOSED.
- HB 7055: Education train bill that singled out bargaining units representing instructional personnel for certification and revocation of certification, and the creation of the bully voucher.FEA OPPOSED.
- HB 7026: Gun package that included arming teachers and education support staff on campus. FEA OPPOSED the arming of teachers and education support staff but took no position on other provisions within the bill.
- HB 7001/SJR 1742: Sends to the ballot a provision that if passed, would tie the hands of future legislatures from reversing tax cuts to state revenue, such as vouchers, and would impact how local governments can spend locally collected tax revenues. FEA OPPOSED.
- HB 7087: Tax package passed by the House included funding current voucher programs by using sales tax. FEA OPPOSED. The final package did not include this measure.
- Amendments to HB 7055 to remove union decertification or reduce the 50% threshold. FEA SUPPORTED.