fbpx
Menu
Menu

Session

The 2019 Legislative Session: 
Time to Fund Our Future

As a public school teacher or education staff professional, you are a powerful grassroots public education advocate. Unlike many policymakers, you understand the issues and decisions that matter most to our public schools and students.

fund our future logo

The Florida Education Association advocates for a pre-K through 20 education system in Florida that prepares students for the 21st century citizenship and the workplace, protects taxpayer investments, and treats educators and education staff professionals with respect and dignity. We believe the path to achieving a world-class education system is grounded in three principles: investment in our neighborhood public schoolsstudent successrecruit & retain. All three of these principles boil down to one underlying message: Fund Our Future.

Below are the tools FEA members need to make their advocacy work quick, easy and meaningful. Simply click the links below to learn more about the issues and take action.

FEA Legislative Policy Agenda: Fund Our Future
Ways to Stay Connected
Legislative Resources

FEA Legislative Policy Agenda:
Fund Our Future

The Florida Education Association advocates for a pre-K through 20 education system in Florida that prepares students for the 21st century citizenship and the workplace, protects taxpayer investments, and treats educators and education staff professionals with respect and dignity. We believe the path to achieving a world-class education system is grounded in three principles: investment in our neighborhood public schoolsstudent successrecruit & retain. All three of these principles boil down to one underlying message: Fund Our Future.

Student Success

Safe, Healthy and Effective Environment

  • Ensure campuses (Pre-K through higher education) are secure, safe, and well maintained and are able to provide student and family supports as well as behavioral and disciplinary interventions.
  • Provide support for expanded wrap around services and community schools.
  • Honor the intent of the voters to eliminate overcrowded classrooms as expressed in the 2000 class size constitutional amendment.
  • Provide planning time and enhanced funding for all turnaround schools including community engagement and wraparound services.

Supports for Learning

  • Maximize flexibility and support for instruction in schools with high poverty student populations.
  • Prioritize student learning over high stakes testing including alternative assessment (e.g. portfolios, projects and performance assessments), formative assessments and rapid return of results from low stakes assessments.
  • Expand upon 2017 efforts to provide timely and specific feedback on student learning and growth throughout the school year to teachers and parents and specific, actionable feedback on student growth before the next school year.
  • Ensure transparent teacher evaluation and feedback is focused on improving effective teaching and learning strategies.
  • Ensure education staff professionals have up-to-date training on the best practices for instructional support and health and safety of students in our schools

Investment in Public Schools

Fairness in Funding

  • Prioritize competitive salaries, benefits, and pay raises that count toward retirement to attract and retain highest quality teachers and education staff professionals and oppose short-sighted and discriminatory bonus schemes such as the Best & Brightest scholarship.
  • Capture increases in property value through the “Required Local Effort” and end the practice of rolling back the RLE that keeps the previous year’s funding levels the same and puts more pressure on local districts to make up the difference.
  • Increase the per pupil funding allocation to at least the national average.
  • Ensure students and schools with greatest deficits receive enhanced support.
  • Fully fund the costs associated with legislative mandates to include eliminating overcrowded classrooms, extended school day and year, school improvement and turnaround efforts, new teacher mentoring and safe transportation.
  • Align funding of capital projects to needs assessments in local districts for maintenance, renovation and new construction.
  • Increase the Safe Schools allocation to meet the needs of neighborhood schools and fully fund security guards at every school, in addition to and not at the expense of other school priorities.
  • Increase state funding for higher education institutions to keep up with demand and fund actual enrollment.

Public Trust

  • Honor the constitutional authority of elected local school boards to supervise all schools in the school district.
  • Increase public engagement in all schools through staff, parents and community representation on school advisory councils, school improvement teams, open public hearings, meetings and records.
  • Hold all schools receiving public funds (including charter and private schools) to the same high standards for providing safe facilities, well-qualified staff and high-quality curriculum and instruction.

Retain and Recruit

Staff Quality

  • Incentivize retention in the profession with extended and multi-year contracts after a probationary period.
  • Address teacher shortage and student debt through incentives such as loan-forgiveness, grants, scholarships and support for pre-service teacher programs.
  • Protect Florida’s existing retirement system and all current retirees and fully vested employee benefits and maintain the defined benefit and defined contribution options for all education (regular class) employees.
  • Strengthen alternative certification preparation to require instruction and supervised practice before a new teacher assumes responsibility for student instruction.
  • Provide funding and time for structured mentoring support of new teachers.
  • Design streamlined certification pathways and incentives for instructional aides to become teachers.
  • Provide meaningful professional development for instructional and non-instructional professionals.
  • Grant fee waivers along with tuition waivers to Graduate Assistants and university employees.

Ways to Stay Connected

Here are five quick and easy ways you can stay connected and on top of the issues during session:

  1. Sign up for email Action Alerts.
  2. Sign up for FEA Action Alert texts by texting “feaactivist” to 31996.
  3. Sign up to receive the weekly FEA Frontline Report.
  4. Join the Working Families Lobby Corps.
  5. Following FEA on social media:

Legislative Resources

The Florida Channel provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of the legislative session, allowing you to watch hearings and meetings both live and on demand.

The Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate websites contain important information including legislative calendars and proposed bill language and votes.

The Online Sunshine site contains the full set of 2018 Florida Statutes, including The K-20 Education Code (TITLE XLVIII, K-20 EDUCATION Code, Ch.1000-1013).

Overtesting of Florida’s Students

Part IV: Test Mania – How Florida Lost its Focus on What Matters in EducationFlorida’s students…

Read more about Overtesting of Florida’s Students

Annual Contracts: An Attack on Teacher Professionalism

Part III: Annual Contracts and Due Process   The first article in our series of how Florida’s education policies are…

Read more about Annual Contracts: An Attack on Teacher Professionalism

Best and Brightest Update

November 13 Update: The State Board of Education will be meeting on Friday, November 15…

Read more about this story

The Fund Our Future Bus Tour: 5 weeks, 3,580 miles and 55,000 people

Get the facts on our tour in support of public education, along with links to week-by-week chronicles documenting the stops, a roundup of media coverage, and tour-related FEA news releases.…

Read more about this story

The Bus Tour in the Media

FEA President Fedrick Ingram speaks with reporters during the Oct. 18 launch of the tour in Orlando. The red Fund Our Future bus made the news wherever it stopped, offering…

Read more about this story

Education Unions Stand with Florida Educators

As Florida educators continue to call on state legislators to Fund Our Future, education unions across the country are voicing their support and solidarity. AFT Connecticut: FEA's fight is our fightAs…

Read more about this story

While the governor proposes a stay-the-course plan, we have a truly bold vision for Florida’s schools

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Education Association (FEA) is calling for a truly bold vision for…

Read more about this story

FEA reacts to DeSantis bonus plan announcement

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Education Association (FEA) was disappointed to learn Thursday that what Gov.…

Read more about this story

FEA statement on Gov. DeSantis’ comments on pay

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Education Association (FEA) President Fedrick Ingram released this statement today following Gov.…

Read more about this story