It goes without saying, this week has been powerful.
FEA’s Enough is Enough! Rally shook the halls of the Capitol and was a tremendous success. Thousands of educators and education stakeholders took the time to drive to Tallahassee from across the state to rally for public education. They marched from the civic center to the Capitol courtyard in unity, lead by FEA's officers. Attendees were then addressed at the Capitol courtyard by FEA leadership, fellow members and high profile supporters of public education.
These speakers touched on a variety of topics, but the underlying message was the same - we have had enough. It's time for lawmakers to stop cheating our children. Additionally, speakers warned legislators to make their actions count in the 2016 legislative session, because they will be remembered during the election season in November.
Session began with little attention to education.
Tuesday marked the first day of the 2016 regular legislative session. It began with the usual pomp and circumstance, but little attention was given to public education.
The Senate Pre-K-12 Education Committee met on Wednesday to discuss class size and SB 978, which establishes the Best and Brightest program. FEA Secretary-Treasurer Luke Flynt testified against the Best and Brightest program at the committee, raising concerns that it is not a fair program for veteran teachers. Last December, FEA filed age and race discrimination charges against the Florida DOE and the state’s school districts over implementation of the controversial Best and Brightest bonus program.
ALERT: Best and Brightest is coming up for a vote in Chair John Legg’s (R-Lutz) Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee on Wednesday, January 20th! Stop legislators from putting this into law permanently. Help us explain to legislators that standardized tests measure testing skills-not teaching or learning skills. Email them TODAY.
Stay motivated. We have work to do.
The rally was just the beginning of the fight for the 2016 legislative session. Lawmakers heard us in the halls of the Capitol, but we can’t lose momentum. Send a message to your local legislators. Write a letter to the editor.
The FEA Action Center has everything you need to accomplish this. You can find sample letters to the editorcreated specifically for the rally, in addition to the contact information for lawmakers in the Take Action tab.
You should also have one-on-one conversations with your peers and invite them to be activists with you. Most importantly, register to vote - and encourage others to do the same!
Keep an eye out on MyFEATV.com, as we will be posting all photos taken at the rally in the next few days and stay tuned for next week’s legislative update!
Joanne M. McCall, President
Florida Education Association
NEA, AFT, AFL-CIO
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