FEA Files Federal Lawsuit
Florida Education Association joins with National Education Association to file a federal lawsuit over state’s flawed teacher evaluation procedure
April 16, 2013
The Florida Education Association and the NEA — one of our national unions — filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday, April 16, 2013, seeking to stop implementation and enforcement of key portions of SB 736 that have led to teachers being evaluated on the test scores of students they didn’t teach or in subjects they didn’t teach.
FEA and NEA on behalf of seven accomplished public school teachers and their local education associations are bringing the suit against the Florida commissioner of education, the State Board of Education and the school boards of those three counties to stop implementation and enforcement of portions of SB 736 throughout the state. The lawsuit seeks to throw out evaluations given based on flawed measurements.
The lawsuit argues the evaluation of teachers based on the standardized test scores of students they do not teach, or from subjects they do not teach, violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In addition to this federal lawsuit, FEA still is waiting judgment on the 2011 lawsuit we filed with the Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association in state court. We argue that SB 736 violates the Florida Constitution by denying teachers the right to effective collective bargaining on wages and terms and conditions of employment.
TAKE ACTION: Join PEA TODAY! Lawsuits like these — fighting these unfair, arbitrary and irrational evaluations — are only possible because we are standing united as teachers and education staff professionals. And spread the word to your coworkers of this important work YOUR union is doing.
In Solidarity, Marianne
FEA disappointed in Supreme Court ruling upholding 3 percent income tax on public employees
January 17, 2013
TALLAHASSEE – FEA President Andy Ford said he was disappointed in the Florida Supreme Court ruling Thursday that upheld the 3-percent income tax levied on public employees in the state. The justices overturned a circuit court ruling that said the Florida Legislature overstepped its authority by ignoring the Florida Constitution in taking 3 percent from the paychecks of Florida’s teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, nurses and other public employees.
Legislative leaders and Gov. Rick Scott called the tax a “contribution” to the Florida Retirement System, but the money has been used to balance the state budget this year and last year.
“This is disappointing news for those who work to make Florida a better place,” Ford said. “Balancing the state budget on the backs of middle-class working families is the wrong approach for legislative leaders and the governor to take. We’re disappointed that the state’s highest court said this approach was legal.
“I believe our arguments were correct, even if the justices didn’t agree. We still believe that a promise is a promise,” Ford said.
“We are more determined than ever to change the face of the Florida Legislature. The next elections in 2014 can turn this decision around.”
Judge Hears Legal Challenge of SB736
January 16, 2013
The first hearings on SB 736 legal challenge began in Leon County Second Judicial Circuit court this week. Judge John Cooper listened to arguements from attorneys for the state and the Florida Education Association. The FEA contends the law is unconstitutional because it violates collective bargaining rights in the state constitution.
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