Press Release

FEA: Fund the schools that serve the majority of students

TALLAHASSEE — All of our students, regardless of ZIP code, deserve the tools and resources to help them learn. Rather than fund costly, wasteful and ineffective experiments, policymakers should instead invest in proven strategies and effective programs in our neighborhood public schools, and provide our students and teachers sufficient funding so that all students have equal access to the resources they need to succeed.

Voucher schemes, often termed “scholarship” programs, fail to adequately serve our students. Thirty-five percent of students who receive a voucher in the form of a tax credit scholarship only participate in the program for one year. An additional 23 percent stay for only two years. Test data shows that when these students return to the public schools, they have worse performance in reading and math than students who never participated in the program.

Florida Education Association President Fedrick C. Ingram highlighted the exclusionary nature of vouchers: “Let us be clear. Vouchers do not create choice for parents, but rather choice for private schools — they can reject students based on economic status, academic achievement, disabilities, English proficiency, immigration status, sexual orientation or even gender.”

These programs ultimately deprive students of the rights and protections guaranteed in public schools. Despite receiving public money, private schools that participate in voucher programs are not subject to the same civil rights laws, and do not face the same accountability and transparency standards that our neighborhood public schools must meet, including those in Title VI, Title IX and IDEA. Taxpayer money should not fund private schools that are not accountable to the people of Florida.

FEA remains firm in its opposition to voucher schemes and calls on the Legislature to do right by all of Florida’s students by fulfilling the constitutional mandate to adequately fund our neighborhood public schools.

Best and Brightest Update

May 29 update: This article has been revised with updated information about changes to the…

Read more about this story

Democracy Dies in the Darkness (An update on House Bill 7123)

We have reached day 53 of the 60-day legislative session. This is the time of…

Read more about this story

Senate Bill 7070 Update

On just the third day of session we warned there would be a massive education…

Read more about this story

Best and Brightest Lawsuit Question and Answers

In 2017, the FEA sued the Florida Department of Education for its discriminatory Best and Brightest program. We did this not just because we hoped that those who had been…

Read more about this story

“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…

Read more about this story

Recently passed voucher plan may drain nearly $1 billion from Florida’s public schools over the next five years

Florida’s neighborhood public schools could lose nearly $1 billion over the next five years as a result of the legislature’s actions in the last session to vastly expand vouchers for…

Read more about this story

Florida charter schools lack proper oversight

State’s charter school laws rated very poor in new NEA analysis TALLAHASSEE — Florida charter…

Read the rest of this release

May 18 summit will unite supporters of Florida’s embattled public schools

TALLAHASSSEE — In a state where the governor says education is public if taxpayers fund…

Read the rest of this release

Budget won’t undo damage done to our neighborhood public schools

On the eve of Teacher Appreciation Week, the Legislature has made clear that it appreciates…

Read the rest of this release