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2020 Legislative Session Resources

This page is your one-stop shop for all the resources you need to follow along with this legislative session and to successfully advocate for students, educators and public education.

Take Action

Join thousands of educators, parents, and supporters of public education as we rally for public schools on Monday, January 13, the eve of the legislative session.

Find Your Legislators

Type in your address below to find the contact information for your legislators.

 

When communicating with your legislator(s), remember to always be professional and to keep your comments brief and focused on one specific topic.

The Week Ahead:

Full weekly calendar for the House and Senate. Highlights of the week are below.

Note: Agendas for the meetings are not typically available until 72 hours in advance.

As soon as the meetings have an agenda, we’ll post a link to it as well and highlight any important bills on the agenda.

Monday, January 13:

Tuesday, January 14:

Wednesday, January 15:

Thursday, January 16:

Friday, January 17:

Bills We’re Watching:

The below list does not include all of the bills our lobbyists are actively monitoring but focuses on the ones that stand to impact you and your students the most.

Clicking on any of the bills below will take you to that bill’s page where you can find all of the most up-to-date information on the bill.

Interested in a bill that’s not on the below list? Click here learn more on how you can receive real-time updates on any bill of interest to you.

  • HB 643 — Pre-kindergaten teachers
  • SB 624 — Repeal of 50% decertification language
  • HB 819/SB 1320 — Graduate Assistant fee waiver
  • SJR 1364 — Proposed constitutional amendment to restore local control to school boards
  • HB 929 — Opt out of standardized testing
  • SR 964 — Resolution honoring Education Staff Professionals

Ways to Stay Connected

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

Sign up for email Action Alerts.



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.

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).

Frontline Email Archive

At the end of each week, we send a recap of the goings on in the Legislature. You can sign up here to be added to the e-mail list and browse the archive of Frontline emails below

Op-ed: New bill threatens federal financial aid for Florida’s students

This column was originally published on Feb. 20, 2022, by the South Florida Sun Sentinel. By ANDREW GOTHARD, UFF President  The beatings will continue until morale improves. Such is the…

Read more about Op-ed: New bill threatens federal financial aid for Florida’s students

UFF leads fight for intellectual freedom

University of Florida students and faculty gather Nov. 12, 2021, to advocate for free speech and academic freedom. The United Faculty of Florida, FEA’s higher education affiliate, has stepped forward…

Read more about UFF leads fight for intellectual freedom

Celebrating American Education Week

Neighborhood public schools are a vital part of our communities, and about 90 percent of Florida’s students are educated in public schools. Join us in celebrating public education and all…

Read more about Celebrating American Education Week

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

For students to learn anything, Florida needs educators

As Gov. DeSantis today signs HB 7, a bill based on a manufactured political narrative, the Florida Education Association (FEA) must call out the fact that our students would be…

Read more about For students to learn anything, Florida needs educators

New law promotes falsehoods about schools, will aggravate shortage of teachers and staff

By signing the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Gov. DeSantis has put a political agenda ahead of what’s best for our students.

Read more about New law promotes falsehoods about schools, will aggravate shortage of teachers and staff