Article updated April 21, 2020 with new information.
In 2017, the FEA filed a lawsuit against the Department and Florida’s school districts and other special districts in the federal court in Tallahassee. The lawsuit claims that the SAT/ACT score requirement of the Florida’s Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program had an illegal “disparate impact” on classroom teachers based on their Black and Hispanic race, that the SAT/ACT score requirement was not required by education necessity, and that it was not related to teachers’ job performance.
After nearly two years of litigation, the FEA and the individual teachers who acted as class representatives have reached a settlement of the case with the Department. The settlement resulted in the repeal of the Program’s SAT/ACT requirement and creates a fund of $15,500,000 to be paid to eligible Black and Hispanic class members who submit claims. A portion of the funds will be used to pay the costs of administering the settlement, the FEA’s attorney’s fees, and compensation to individual teacher class representatives for their service in the case. The federal court has approved the settlement as of March 23, 2020. Checks are expected to be mailed to class members on June 15, 2020. This timeframe is to account for the appeal period and for the class administrator to run the final calculations and prepare the checks for mailing
For more information on the settlement please go to www.BestBrightestSettlement.com.