Florida now the first state in the nation to stop year-end standardized testing
Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law on Tuesday that will end Florida Standards Assessments Testing. The law will make Florida the first state in the nation to switch from year-end assessments to state standards-aligned progress monitoring. “Next year Florida will become the first state in the nation to do a full transition to progress monitoring to inform school accountability,” DeSantis said. “The 2022-2023 school year will serve as a new baseline for school accountability and school grades will resume the following year.”Read: Gov. DeSantis eliminates FSA in all Florida public schoolsThe Florida Education Association, the largest teacher’s union in the state, wanted FSA to end, but it doesn’t seem to like what it was replaced with.wftv.com
Florida Education Association backing bill to address support staff shortage
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Education Association said shortages of support staff in schools have reached critical levels. The association is backing a new bill that hopes to address some of the issues. The Florida Education Association this week noted thousands of advertised openings including paraprofessionals, food service, bus drivers, maintenance and custodians. READ: Orange County Public Schools will no longer provide excused absences due to increased COVID-19 casesA bill making its way through Tallahassee would require districts to identify severe shortages and fund ways to attract and keep staff. The senate bill also requires that districts provide paraprofessionals with career development opportunities.wftv.com
Central Florida school districts aren’t yet tracking vaccinated employees as cases surge
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — “Are you vaccinated?”It’s an awkward and intrusive question, but some parents likely want an answer from their child’s teacher. There are no Central Florida school districts currently tracking how many of its employees are vaccinated, even as COVID-19 cases surge across Florida. Some districts across the state, including Orange County, will require employees to wear a mask, for now, but Gov. READ: President of Florida Education Association applauds schools adding mask mandates, defying governorIn Orange County, the district isn’t tracking employee vaccination, either. But in a virtual meeting this week, the Orange County Superintendent told a group of business leaders about 40% of employees are vaccinated.wftv.com
President of Florida Education Association applauds schools adding mask mandates, defying governor
It’s the first shift in strategy seen locally for school districts after the mask talk once again took center stage. ”We want to make sure that our teachers and staff are healthy and safe,” said Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association. Cases were down statewide, and that’s why all of Florida’s school districts had a mask-optional policy. DeSantis stepped in and signed an executive ordering barring school districts from mandating masks. “It threatens school districts with the loss of funding,” Spar said.wftv.com
Teachers and Cops 50 and Older Can Soon Get Vaccinated at Federal Sites in Florida
Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said teachers and law enforcement officers ages 50 and older will have access to Covid-19 vaccine doses in the coming days as four federally supported vaccination sites open in the state. But DeSantis added he will use a portion of the “tens of thousands” of extra vaccine doses the FEMA sites bring to the state to vaccinate teachers and law enforcement officers. Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar did not know how many teachers would qualify for the vaccines. But DeSantis has reversed his position, noting that the addition of the FEMA sites means additional vaccine doses. “We are very happy that we are going to have some federally supported sites,” DeSantis said in Hialeah.flaglerlive.com
Appeals court refuses to revisit Florida school reopening ruling
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – An appeals court Monday refused to reconsider a decision that backed Gov. The plaintiffs in October asked for a rehearing before a three-judge panel or by the full appeals court, a request known as seeking an “en banc” hearing. The Tallahassee-based appeals court posted the orders online Monday afternoon, shortly after DeSantis and Corcoran held a news conference in Osceola County announcing plans for the second half of the school year. In his Aug. 24 ruling that granted a temporary injunction, Dodson said the order left school districts with “no meaningful alternative” about reopening classrooms. But the panel of the appeals court overturned Dodson’s ruling on a series of grounds.
Florida teacher’s union calls for governor to maintain funding in schools and transparency
President Andrew Spar with the Florida Education Association said Florida school districts are struggling to keep classrooms staffed with teachers adding the pandemic is to blame. Gallo explained how OCPS is being transparent about COVID-19 cases in schools by launching a new dashboard online for parents and staff. And while there are cases in some schools, Dr. Raul Pino with the Department of Health in Orange County explained schools are actually doing better than expected." I can tell you I’m pleasently surprised that the numbers in our schools continue to be this low. For the last two weeks, students and teachers at Olympia High School had to pivot to online learning after several positive cases of COVID-19 at the school.
Ruling on reopening Florida schools put back on hold
The unions argue that Corcorans order violates the Florida Constitutions guarantee of safe and secure public schools. After the appeals court put Dodsons ruling on hold Friday, Florida Education Association President Fedrick Ingram released a statement vowing to continue battling the state over the issue. This is not about closing schools or opening schools. The states lawyers pointed out that Florida law bases district funding on surveys of the number of children in schools. Corcorans emergency order waived the funding requirements for school districts that submitted reopening plans approved by state education officials.
Judge sides with Florida teachers, rejects putting schools ruling on hold
Siding with teachers unions, a Leon County circuit judge Thursday lifted a stay of his earlier ruling that a state order requiring schools to reopen in August is unconstitutional. Under law, that notice of appeal automatically placed a stay on Dodson’s ruling --- effectively putting it on hold until the Tallahassee-based appeals court can resolve the case. Late Tuesday, attorneys for the Florida Education Association and the Orange County teachers union asked Dodson to lift the stay. In Thursday’s order, Dodson scolded the state for misrepresenting his temporary injunction. What the order did, for the reasons stated, is require that local school districts be given authority under their individual circumstances to open or close the local schools, based on local conditions,” the judge wrote.
13 Orange County students, 8 employees test positive for COVID-19
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. As of Friday, Orange County Public Schools has documented COVID-19 cases in 13 students and eight employees. Preliminary data indicates that as of Friday, Aug. 21 Orange County Public Schools has had 21 lab confirmed cases. Out of the 21 confirmed cases, only 13 students had been on campus at 11 schools, a spokesperson wrote in an email. About 69,000 Orange County students decided to return to campus for the semester rather than continue online learning. Between June 1 and Aug. 19, 192 employees tested positive.
15 positive cases reported at Brevard County schools in weeks before start of year, union says
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – There were 15 cases of COVID-19 reported at 12 different Brevard County schools in the weeks leading up to the start of the school year, the Brevard Federation of Teachers union said. In a news release Monday evening, teachers union officials reported the results of a public records request filed with Brevard Public Schools for the numbers of positive cases among district employees and the school sites where they worked. Between Aug. 7 and Aug. 20, at least 15 school employees were diagnosed positive for COVID-19 at 12 sites throughout the county, News 6 partner Florida Today reports. The release came the same day Brevard County students reported for the first day of class. The state union argued the order ran afoul of a mandate under the Florida Constitution that students are entitled to a “safe” and “secure” learning environment.
State files notice to seek appeal in legal battle over reopening Florida schools
The filing of the notice means an automatic stay will be granted on the judges order, according to the notice. Attorneys for the Florida Education Association presented arguments last week saying that its unsafe for campuses to be open amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. A Florida Department of Education emergency order requiring that brick-and-mortar schools open in August was at the center of the weekslong legal battle. In Central Florida, school districts leaders said that as of Monday night, they didnt intend to make changes to their school reopening plans. Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins said the ruling could be discussed at the school boards Tuesday night meeting.
COVID-19 cases continue to decline as 6 Central Florida school districts begin in-person learning
ORLANDO, Fla. Florida continues to report a decline in new coronavirus cases, a hopeful trend as tens of thousands of students return to class for in-person instruction across Central Florida. FDOH reported 72 new fatalities Monday, with six of those deaths reported in Central Florida counties marking a decline in people dying in relation to COVID-19. Ron DeSantis and state education officials saying the decision to reopen schools should be left up to school boards. Ron DeSantis and state education officials saying the decision to reopen schools should be left up to school boards. UCF and 6 Central Florida districts start school: The University of Central Florida says fall enrollment is up, though a quarter of its classes will be in person this semester.
Judge sides with Florida teachers union, says districts should decide if schools should reopen
ORLANDO, Fla. A Tallahassee-based judge sided with Floridas largest teachers union Monday ruling that Floridas blanket order to require schools to teach students in the classroom during the coronavirus pandemic is unconstitutional. Florida Education Association, the states largest teachers union, along with a number of other organizations filed a lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and the state alleging reopening schools was unsafe. It is unclear if school districts will stick to their reopening plans that were submitted to Floridas Education Commission or if districts will roll back plans. The Florida Education Association is expected to hold a news conference at 3:30 p.m.
Judge slated to rule on Florida teachers union lawsuit next week
Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson, who is slated to issue a ruling early next week, heard closing arguments in lawsuits filed by the Florida Education Association and the union that represents Orange County teachers. Schools risk losing funding if they don’t comply with Corcoran’s order, which teachers’ attorneys called “financial bullying.”But lawyers representing Gov. Ron DeSantis, Corcoran and state education officials, who are defendants in the case, maintain that the Constitution also requires the state to provide “high-quality education” to Florida schoolchildren. Although DeSantis and Corcoran have said publicly that teachers with medical conditions should be accommodated during the pandemic, local school officials have denied some educators’ requests to teach remotely. During testimony this week, the unions spotlighted the potential risks to teachers’ health, while the state focused on children’s educational needs.
Florida teachers union begins mediation with state over school reopening
Floridas largest teachers union and attorneys for the state are meeting in Tallahassee Tuesday for court-ordered meditation in an attempt to come to an agreement on how to safely reopen school campuses amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Florida Education Association is suing Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, the Florida Department of Education and others to stop Florida brick-and-mortar schools from physically reopening. A few school districts across the state have already welcomed students back. Many school districts have delayed the start of the school year to late August because of the pandemic.
Judge denies Floridas motion to dismiss educators lawsuit
The battle to stop Florida brick-and-mortar schools from psychically reopening is going to trial after a judge denied the states motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Floridas largest teachers union. On Thursday, lawsuits filed by the Florida Education Association, the Orange County teachers union and a parent were combined. The state had motioned to dismiss the lawsuit; however, on Friday morning a judge denied the motion to dismiss. Stuart and attorney, Billy Wieland are representing the plaintiff in a lawsuit that was filed against Gov. Both Stuart and Wieland represent the three OCPS teachers and the parent who are part of the lawsuit.
Florida Education Association files emergency hearing to delay reopening of schools
The Florida Education Association hopes a judge will delay the reopening of schools for in-person instruction. The labor union filed an emergency hearing on Aug. 3 to block reopening brick and mortar schools while a lawsuit against the state is pending. On July 20, the Florida Education Association filed a lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Board of Education. A special virtual meeting is scheduled for Aug. 5, at 1 p.m ahead of schools reopening.
Florida Education Association suing governor over schools reopening
TALLAHASSEE With the start of the fall semester just weeks away, the Florida Education Association has filed a lawsuit against the governor and other state leaders claiming that reopening schools in August will create an unsafe environment due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ron DeSantis, Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez as defendants. The governor needs to accept the reality of the situation here in Florida, where the virus is surging out of control. Teachers and parents want our schools to meet that basic standard.The lawsuit points out that schools were closed in mid-March when Florida had around 300 documented COVID-19 cases. The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association have expressed support for the lawsuit.
Florida Education Association releases recommendations for reopening schools
ORLANDO, Fla. – Members of the Florida Education Association said they are disappointed the task force for reopening schools, created by the governor and education commissioner, is made up of predominately business people and not educators themselves. They say they hope the task force will consider their recommendations for reopening schools. Highlights from the FEA’s recommendations include:Temporary suspension of standardized testing and school grades for the next school year. “We’re not only going to have to test adults, we’ll have to test teachers and every student. To view the FEA’s recommendations for reopening schools click here.
Settlement, new law spell end for Best and Brightest
TALLAHASSEE A federal judge has approved a $15.5 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit that alleged Floridas long-controversial Best and Brightest teacher-bonus program discriminated against black and Hispanic teachers. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle approved the settlement last Thursday, a day before state lawmakers passed a bill that would permanently do away with the Best and Brightest program. The lawsuit focused on a decision by state lawmakers to partly base Best and Brightest bonuses on teachers scores on SAT and ACT college-admission exams. Under the settlement, money will go to black and Hispanic classroom teachers who were rated as highly effective but did not receive Best and Brightest bonuses since the program took effect in 2015. The department would vigorously defend the action and the settlement class members would face the risk of not prevailing with regard to the merits.ocala.com
Central Florida educators bring Tally rally to Lake Eola Park this weekend
click to enlarge Photo via Central Florida Jobs with JusticeBrevard, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia counties. Fund Our Future campaign started by Florida Education Association, which fights for further investment in teachers, public schools and students. "After the rally in Tallahassee, the momentum continues as educators and all public school employees ask the Legislature to fund our future," said Wendy Doromal, president of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association, in a press release. "We will be gathering at Lake Eola to let policymakers know that we want to make sure this is really the 'Year of the Teacher.'" Lake Eola Park, at 512 E. Washington St., on Saturday from 1 - 3 p.m. "The Rally Continues" rally at the Northeast lawn ofclick to enlarge Photo via Central Florida Jobs with JusticeFollowing the January teacher rally in Tallahassee to demand higher wages, which saw tens of thousands of participants, Central Florida educators are holding another rally at Lake Eola Park for more funding for public education.Some 1,500 people are expected to join in, according to rally organizers, including educators, teachers, students and union reps fromThe January "Take on Tallahassee" rally at the capitol and downtown Orlando's "The Rally Continues" this weekend both sparked by the statewideorlandoweekly.com
DeSantiss teacher pay plan drawing little support from those its supposed to help
Ron DeSantis $900 million teacher pay and bonus plan sparks wide range of questions. DeSantis wants to push minimum teacher salaries in Florida to $47,500, second only to New Jersey among the states for base pay. The National Education Association reported the average starting salary for Florida teachers in 2017-18 was $37,636. Veteran teachers, whose salaries climb with experience, also would be largely bypassed, critics said. They argue that districts will be better able to craft pay plans that reward veteran teachers, while still attracting newcomers to the profession.dailycommercial.com
DeSantiss teacher pay plan drawing little support from those its supposed to help
Ron DeSantis $900 million teacher pay and bonus plan sparks wide range of questions. DeSantis wants to push minimum teacher salaries in Florida to $47,500, second only to New Jersey among the states for base pay. The National Education Association reported the average starting salary for Florida teachers in 2017-18 was $37,636. Veteran teachers, whose salaries climb with experience, also would be largely bypassed, critics said. They argue that districts will be better able to craft pay plans that reward veteran teachers, while still attracting newcomers to the profession.news-journalonline.com
DeSantiss teacher pay plan drawing little support from those its supposed to help
Ron DeSantis $900 million teacher pay and bonus plan sparks wide range of questions. DeSantis wants to push minimum teacher salaries in Florida to $47,500, second only to New Jersey among the states for base pay. The National Education Association reported the average starting salary for Florida teachers in 2017-18 was $37,636. Veteran teachers, whose salaries climb with experience, also would be largely bypassed, critics said. They argue that districts will be better able to craft pay plans that reward veteran teachers, while still attracting newcomers to the profession.ocala.com
Florida lawmakers look for ways to boost teacher pay
Ron DeSantis proposed raising the minimum starting salary of Florida teachers to $47,500, a proposal with an estimated $603 million price tag. But Diaz added that if the bonus program is repealed, it would free up a lot of money that could be used somewhere else. The Florida Education Association, a statewide teachers union, has said it is encouraged by DeSantis focus on teacher pay, but it also has raised questions about how the plan would help retain longstanding teachers. Florida ranked 27th in the nation for average teacher starting pay during the 2017-2018 school year at $37,636, according to the National Education Association. The states overall average teacher pay in 2017-2018 topped $48,000, but educators have long called for higher salaries as Florida has ranked near the bottom nationally.news-journalonline.com
House looks for ways to boost teacher pay
But Diaz added that if the bonus program is repealed, it would free up a lot of money that could be used somewhere else. The Florida Education Association, a statewide teachers union, has said it is encouraged by DeSantis focus on teacher pay, but it also has raised questions about how the plan would help retain longstanding teachers. Florida ranked 27th in the nation for average teacher starting pay during the 2017-2018 school year at $37,636, according to the National Education Association. The states overall average teacher pay in 2017-2018 topped $48,000, but educators have long called for higher salaries as Florida has ranked near the bottom nationally. So, the pay increase across the board, especially for those ESE (exceptional student education) teachers and those reading coaches and those people who are not considered instructional personnel, are very important," Davis said.ocala.com
Florida House looks for way to boost teacher pay
TALLAHASSEE A House education panel on Thursday began delving into the issue of raising teacher pay, with a key lawmaker saying that while "everything is on the table," the panel still needs to figure out where the money would come from. But Diaz added that if the bonus program is repealed, it would free up a lot of money that could be used somewhere else. The Florida Education Association, a statewide teachers union, has said it is encouraged by DeSantis focus on teacher pay, but it also has raised questions about how the plan would help retain longstanding teachers. Florida ranked 27th in the nation for average teacher starting pay during the 2017-2018 school year at $37,636, according to the National Education Association. The states overall average teacher pay in 2017-2018 topped $48,000, but educators have long called for higher salaries as Florida has ranked near the bottom nationally.dailycommercial.com
Florida Education commissioner predicts teachers will carry guns in 10 years
ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said he thinks teachers in the classroom should be armed, and he predicted this will be phased in. His comments came at the Sept. 9 meeting of the Central Florida Public School Boards Coalition meeting in Orlando. "In 10 years, every single school in the state of Florida will have guardian teachers," he said. Corcoran was a surprise speaker at the meeting, where he volunteered his support for arming teachers and staff, while doing away with school resource officers. Natalia Santana-Pollard said she is a parent with two children in public schools.