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Episode 3: Annual Contract Dilemma & A Shot in the Arm

Welcome back to Educating from the Heart. Episode 3 has two segments:

Read the transcript from Episode 3

Annual Contract Dilemma

It was the first bill signed into law by former Gov. Rick Scott in 2011 shortly after assuming office. The Student Success Act altered several aspects of teaching, including removing the ability for a newly hired teacher in Florida to be awarded a renewable multi-year employment agreement by a county school district. Currently, a teacher is placed on an annual contract after completing one year of probationary employment with an evaluation that is satisfactory or above. Each annual contract teacher can have their contract non-renewed at the end of the school year without cause and regardless of how well they perform.

Prior to the law, educators worked three years to achieve a non-probationary status and would then become eligible for a multi-year employment agreement. Lawmakers have maintained that annual contracts help school districts identify and remove bad teachers and attract and retain quality teachers. But since the inception of annual contracts, Florida school districts have been left struggling with escalating staff shortages and a culture of trepidation.

Segment Guests

Segment Resources

A Shot in the Arm

Florida schools entered the second semester with local districts urging parents to return their students to in-person learning. As the Covid-19 positivity rate continues to climb and school buildings and classrooms overflow, Florida educators are questioning when they’ll be prioritized to receive their shot in the arm. Gov. DeSantis has ignored the CDC guidelines for vaccine distribution by not including teachers with other frontline workers in the initial rollout.

Florida educators age 65 and older are eligible to receive an inoculation, but long lines and limited supplies have made it difficult for them, even those with serious medical conditions, to obtain their shot. The situation has left many teachers and school support professionals anxious, weary and frustrated over lack of protection.

The FEA, school district leaders, principals and parents have urged the governor to reconsider reprioritizing teachers and school staff professionals. Those requests have fallen on deaf ears.

Segment Guests

Segment Resources

Visit the FEA Voter Toolkit

The November 8 General Election is just around the corner and education will be a central issue during this critical election season. The FEA Voter Toolkit has election resources and endorsed candidates for local school Boards, the Florida House and Florida Senate, and Governor.

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