Ramblings of One Teacher Trying to Decipher Florida SB 736 & Insights from FEA President, Andy Ford
I am a Florida public school teacher and a parent. Like many others, I am following this year’s Legislation closely. Each day, I am approached by fellow teachers and parents who are also trying to understand what is going on with all the bills that are hitting our House and Senate. One bill in particular, Senate Bill 736, is a serious worry to many. So, I did what I would recommend of my students: I printed, read, highlighted, sticky-noted, and outlined the bill. I must tell you, at 47 pages long, it was no easy matter.
The bill is full of so many generalities, it is difficult to understand. So, I sought advice. I sent a few questions to Andy Ford, President of FEA, Florida Education Association. He promptly responded, and at length, addressing each of my questions. His answers were very informative. Here is an excerpt of his reply (quoted with his permission):
“All teachers and parents need to see SB736 is a “slightly lighter” version of SB6. It guts local control, expands testing, bases employment decisions on student test data and eliminates due process for all new teachers, teachers opting for the new performance salary schedules, and a teacher relocating to a new district…this bill is wrong for students, teachers, and public schools. Add to that the list of anti-union bills and budget cuts and this is setting up to be a disaster for kids! Silence the opposition seems to be the agenda.” ~Andy Ford, President FEA
Disaster for kids is right.
I know folks like to call our union leaders ‘thugs’. Why? Well, apparently, intelligence is intimidating. I can tell you this – with the threats to our Florida Constitution that these bills propose, we should all be so lucky as to have a few Andy Fords sticking up for us.
We Are One !