Florida Education Association

  Today on “First Coast Connect,” our weekly Media Roundtable included Charles Griggs from the Jacksonville Free Press, Jacksonville Business Journal Editor Timothy Gibbons and WJCT reporter Lindsey Kilbride (01:13). We also spoke with Florida Education Association President Joanne McCall (33:31), and Fuada Velic told us about Saturday’s Srebrenica genocide remembrance in Jacksonville. 


teacher with students
Rhema Thompson / WJCT

The state's largest teachers union filed a complaint Monday over a program that rewards teachers for high scores on college admissions tests, saying the "Best and Brightest" bonuses discriminate on the basis of age and race.

The charges, filed by the Florida Education Association with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Florida Commission on Human Relations, come weeks before lawmakers are set to consider extending the bonus program, which was added to the state budget during a June special session.

bubble test
Tim Lewis / Flickr

A study has found the state's new standardized test for public-school students is valid, paving the way for the exam to be used in teacher evaluations and school grades, the Florida Department of Education announced Tuesday.

But critics said the controversial Florida Standards Assessment is still deeply flawed, and that the report is not as flattering as the department is portraying it. Lawmakers required the report in legislation passed this spring, following a slew of technical problems and a cyberattack on a computer platform.

Wikimedia Commons

In a victory for school-choice supporters, a circuit judge Monday tossed out a constitutional challenge to a state program that helps send tens of thousands of low-income children to private schools.

Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds ruled that plaintiffs in the case — spearheaded by the Florida Education Association teachers union — did not have legal "standing" to challenge the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.

Rick Scott
The Office of Governor Rick Scott

Making good on a campaign promise, Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday he will ask lawmakers to provide the highest per-student funding for education in state history during the legislative session that begins in March.

Scott said his "Keep Florida Working" budget would include $7,176 per student, about $50 above the previous high in the 2007-08 budget year. That spending plan was approved before the financial crisis that caused the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

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. 

Flickr Commons

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge is upholding a contentious teacher evaluation law and dismissing a lawsuit filed by seven teachers.

Florida Senate

Lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott reached a compromise on $480 million in raises for teachers and other school workers.

The raises are part of a $74 billion spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Districts will have flexibility in how the money is awarded based on local collective bargaining agreements.

Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett says state leaders and lawmakers are listening to teacher concerns about evaluations.

The Florida Education Association is suing Bennett, the Department of Education, and a few school districts over teacher evaluations.