fbpx

Around FEA

This article appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of The Advocate, the official publication of the Florida Education Association.

On FYRE for reading

Florida’s Young Remarkable Educators (FYRE) have partnered with local unions and Student FEA to give away about 10,000 of books to children throughout Florida in the past year.

First Book events took place in Lee, Leon, Polk, Palm Beach, Volusia, Okeechobee, Brevard and Seminole counties with help from the local educator unions. In Seminole County, the Student FEA chapter at the University of Central Florida also pitched in for two Knights Read Bus events, with the bus traveling to schools. Student FEA helped out in Leon County as well.

Events are tailored for each community. In Okeechobee County, the Okeechobee Education Association and the local FYRE have teamed up with local businesses to place plastic crates filled with books in their buildings. In Palm Beach County, books were available at four locations for a week. In Polk County, there was a drive-through for carry-out books.

Besides FYRE and local education unions, First Book event sponsors include the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Since 1992, national non-profit First Book has distributed more than 185 million books and educational resources in more than 30 countries.

FYRE members are nominated by their local union presidents for the group, which offers special opportunities and training for up-and-coming
educators with less than 10 years of experience in our schools.

Happy anniversaries!

Please join us in congratulating two local unions celebrating landmark anniversaries this year. The Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association (HCTA) is marking 100 years since it began in 1921 as a committee within the Hillsborough County Education Foundation. HCTA broke away from the foundation in 1965.

It’s 80 years for the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association (OCCTA), which has in its archives a typed letter from the National Education Association (NEA) dated April 9, 1941, that congratulates Orange teachers on forming what
was considered by the NEA to be the first county education union in Florida.
Also in Orange’s archives are clippings and documents that show educators’ concerns in the mid-20th century were much like ours today. In a 1950 survey, members’ suggested rejecting salaries based on principal evaluations, asking the school board for salary raises based on cost-of-living increases and putting union informational materials on bulletin boards. The slogan for a 1951 membership drive was “Be Strong, Belong!”

On its website, HCTA outlines the long list of victories the union has negotiated over the decades, including benefits packages that include life and health insurance, duty free lunch, personal leave days, eliminating the requirement for pregnant teachers to resign or take a leave 60 days before the birth, and the creation of the sick leave bank.

Both OCCTA and HCTA will celebrate their special anniversaries this fall in whatever format Covid protocols allow, and both plan to get commemorative T-shirts.

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.

Cover story: Driving to success

Becoming a school bus driver set Cor’Darius Jones, now the “Mr. Bus Driver” of social media fame, on a remarkably rewarding path.

Read more about Cover story: Driving to success

Andrew Spar: We must elect candidates who stand with our schools

If we want good policy and the freedom to do what is best for our kids, then we must participate in the political process and ensure that those elected to…

Read more about Andrew Spar: We must elect candidates who stand with our schools

Carole Gauronskas: More than ever, kids need support

Our students have lived through some of the most difficult days of their lives and are coming to us with enormous needs.

Read more about Carole Gauronskas: More than ever, kids need support

Crist’s choice reaffirms commitment to students, educators

With his announcement today of a running mate, gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist reaffirmed and amplified his support for Florida’s students, educators and public schools.

Read more about Crist’s choice reaffirms commitment to students, educators

FEA recommends endorsement of Charlie Crist for governor

The Florida Education Association (FEA) announced today that the organization will recommend that the Florida AFL-CIO endorse U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist as the next governor of Florida. The federation of…

Read more about FEA recommends endorsement of Charlie Crist for governor

NEA report: Florida’s teachers still among nation’s worst paid

As inflation grows and despite investments by the Legislature, Florida’s teachers remain stuck near the bottom nationally when it comes to average pay, according to new figures released today by…

Read more about NEA report: Florida’s teachers still among nation’s worst paid