Florida Education Association

Tom Flanigan

Leon County School Superintendent Rocky Hanna is applauding a lawsuit against the state’s “Best and Brightest” teacher bonus program.

Kate Payne

United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited Leon County Tuesday, making stops at Holy Comforter Episcopal School and the Florida State University Research School. DeVos used the trip to champion school choice and individual liberties.

Florida Channel

State employees will be getting a pay raise this year, under a proposal now heading to the Senate floor. But, it’s tied to a controversial pension reform issue and health insurance reform package backed by the House.

Denisha Merriweather appears in this promotional video asking the FEA to, "drop the suit"--a reference to its lawsuit against Florida's corporate tax scholarship program.
Save Our Scholarships

The Florida Supreme Court will not hear a challenge to the state’s corporate tax scholarship program. The move comes after months of pressure on the state’s largest teachers union to drop its lawsuit.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran is gearing up for a fight with lobbyists, unions, and maybe even his own colleagues. Corcoran used his swearing in ceremony to go after the Florida Education Association's challenge to the state's de-facto school voucher program.

The Florida Education Association is making a last-ditch attempt to revive its legal battle against school vouchers.

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The Florida Education Association’s continued lawsuit against the state’s de-facto school voucher program continues to rile program supporters. But the teacher’s union isn’t backing down until it’s forced to.

Teachers Call Foul On State Education Policy

Jan 14, 2016
Kate Payne/ WFSU

With lawmakers in town for Session, many groups pick up the mic to air their grievances. The cries of teachers filled the Capitol Courtyard Thursday.

The Florida Supreme Court.
Nick Evans / WFSU News

The Florida Education Association is disappointed the state Supreme Court won’t hear a challenge to the state’s teacher performance pay law.

Denisha Merriweather appears in this promotional video asking the FEA to, "drop the suit"--a reference to its lawsuit against Florida's corporate tax scholarship program.
Save Our Scholarships

A legal challenge to the state’s key school choice program has been tossed by a Leon County judge. The ruling centered on whether the groups bringing the challenge could do it, and not on whether the corporate tax scholarship program is legal.

LHatter / WFSU News

A Tallahassee Judge is weighing whether to allow a constitutional challenge to the state’s tax credit scholarship program to proceed. Since its inception, the program has been a target for legislative challenges, but the current pending litigation has generated larger, more expansive efforts by supporters to get the lawsuit tossed.

There are now more than a thousand students who have tapped into Florida’s newest school choice program.

Lawmakers created a new program to help families of some disabled students pay for their education last year. In a presentation in the House Tuesday, the Florida Department of Education’s Adam Miller says enrollment has doubled.

“As of this morning we had 1,222 students that have received scholarships thus far. We have another couple hundred that are in the queue right now that we anticipate going out in the next couple of weeks.”

LHatter / WFSU News

A lawsuit over a new program that grants personal learning accounts to students with disabilities has been tossed out by a trial judge.

The Florida Education Association, a teacher’s union, sued the Florida legislature over a new law expanding the state’s existing corporate tax scholarship program, which critics call school vouchers.  FEA attorney Ron Meyer argued the way the legislature adopted the expansion—by attaching it at the last minute to a more popular program that sets up financial accounts for disabled students—violated state law:

A teachers union isn’t backing down from its legal challenges to the state’s largest school choice program.The Florida Education Association has re-filed a lawsuit questioning how lawmakers expanded the so-called school voucher system, and continues moving forward with another lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the overall program.

students rallied on campus
Donald DeBevoise / WFSU News

Florida A&M University students and professors held an on-campus campaign promoting voter registration and an awareness of student debt Friday. At the event, students were encouraged to take part in the political process.

The rally on the school’s campus helped kick off the National Education Association’s "Degrees Not Debt" campaign Friday morning. The campaign is part of a countrywide initiative by the NEA to support more relief for student debt and encourage students to vote in favor of pro-education politicians.

LHatter

A constitutional challenge to Florida's de-facto school voucher program has supporters worried it could end if the plaintiffs prevail.

“What do we want? School Choice, when do we want it now!"

This has become the call of pro-school choice advocates in the constant rallies to promote the Florida’s various educational options.  Now one of the options--the popular tax scholarship program used to send low income students to private schools-- is facing a legal challenge. Advocates like Rabbi Moshe Matz of Agudath Israel of Florida in Miami, oppose the move.

The Florida Education Association, Florida School Board Association and a coalition of other groups want the state courts to do away with the corporate tax scholarship program.

FEA Vice President Joanne McCall sums up her group’s argument against the state’s school voucher program like this:

“People have a choice. If they want they can put their kids in private schools. That’s their right. But it’s not the public’s responsibility.”

LHatter / WFSU News

Six Florida families with disabled children want to block a lawsuit challenging the state’s newest voucher program.  They say a move by the state teacher’s union to invalidate a broader bill on educational choice options, is bad policy.

Florida’s largest teachers’ union is backing Charlie Crist for governor.

Governor Rick Scott says he’s been boosting education funding for the past two years, including more pay for teachers. But the state’s largest teachers union, the Florida Education Association, isn’t impressed. The union has endorsed Scott’s probable gubernatorial rival—former Governor Charlie Crist. 

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

The sponsor of a measure aimed at overhauling the state’s pension system says that effort’s dead, but bill supporters and opponents alike say they won’t declare the win or loss until the 2014 Legislative Session comes to an end.

It’s Day 59 of the 60-day legislative Session. But, with session coming close to close, a procedural move by Clearwater Republican Senator Jack Latvala Wednesday may have blocked this year’s effort to overhaul the state’s pension system.

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A passionately-debated effort to overhaul the Florida Retirement System has now been merged with a widely-supported effort to fix local government pensions.  It’s part of an ongoing push by House Speaker Will Weatherford to get his state pension reform effort over the finish line. But, many spoke out against the now-merged House proposal Monday.

Florida Channel

A House panel has agreed to advance its version of overhauling the Florida Retirement System, despite much opposition from public employees and Democrats. The newer pension reform proposal is similar to a plan that died in the Senate last year.

Pelican Post

As Florida lawmakers look to overhaul the state’s retirement system, there are multiple hurdles ahead for the pension reform proposals now before the Senate. The two chambers haven’t agreed on a plan yet, a special exemption is splitting employee unions, and a study with the necessary numbers is not yet complete—pitting some Republicans against one another.

Trilby Republican Senator Wilton Simpson, who’s leading his chamber’s effort, says he’s particularly proud of the “Deferred Compensation” program.

LHatter / WFSU News

A fight over the future of Florida’s state pension program is back -- and groups are already lining up to fight some proposed changes.

Trilby Republican Senator Wilton Simpson’s bill would steer state workers hired after July of 2015 into so-called cash-benefit plans.

Brian Herzog via Flickr

Grade school textbooks would be chosen by local school districts rather than the state education commissioner under a bill filed in the Florida Legislature. Almost 60 percent of U.S. states use the local textbook selection model already.

Florida Education Association spokesman Andy Ford says the state’s largest teacher’s union doesn’t yet have an official position on the proposal. But he says he’s scratching his head as to what problem the bill is meant to solve.

“That shows you right there why this is a good bill," says the bill's sponsor, Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla).

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