Florida Teachers are Poorly Represented by the Offensive Actions and Attitudes of the Florida Education Association

FEA protestors

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

The Florida Education Association already filed a lawsuit against an expansion of the Florida tax credit program and the Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts on procedural grounds. In so doing, the FEA leadership broadly and Vice President Joanne McCall in particular engaged in utter hypocrisy as they had used an identical procedure to get a large teacher pay raise the session before. In the process a FEA official described the special needs students who could benefit from participation in the Personal Learning Scholarship Account program as “collateral casualties.”

So well, if referring to children with disabilities as casualties wasn’t revealing enough about where the well-being of children fall on the priority list of the FEA, today we have a new example from Florida FEA Vice President Joanne McCall. The FEA joined with the Florida School Boards Association in a legal attack on the Florida tax credit program. The families of 60,000 low-income Florida children use this program to finance their education. As mentioned earlier the program has generated a variety of positive evaluations.

Parents feel very strongly about outside groups trying to force their child out of the school they have selected to best meet their needs. Their child’s learning and their network of friends is all being put under assault by this incredibly callous action by the FBSA and FEA.  In a move that should shock no one, a group of these aggrieved parents have protested the FEA’s action outside of their headquarters in Tallahassee.

Here is the response from Twitter for Florida Education Association VP Joanne McCall:



I can’t imagine a more revealing statement. First children with disabilities were “collateral casualties” to the absurd and misguided fears and hatred of the FEA. Now low-income parents who simply want to exercise the same freedom that higher income families take for granted to choose the best school for their child are “hit dogs.” Perhaps it is necessary to dehumanize your victims in your mind before making them into a casualty.

These children and these parents of course are human beings-people with hopes, dreams and aspirations. The only thing accurate about the statement is that the FEA has indeed struck these people. They have cruelly and needlessly introduced fear and uncertainty into their already difficult lives. McCall and her entire organization should be ashamed of what they have done.

One Response to Florida Teachers are Poorly Represented by the Offensive Actions and Attitudes of the Florida Education Association

  1. Chris Rehmet says:

    Great article. The FEA is actually the most incompetent teacher union in the country, by any standard (including low teacher pay). Take a look at how few teachers even belong to this union and you will realize how incompetent they really are. I believe union membership may be as low as 30%, and most of those only do it because the FEA tells them they insure them against frivolous lawsuits brought by parents.

    For example, in Orange County (Orlando) the local FEA held up the Governor’s pay increase for a year. They turned down a proposal that provided 95% of the teachers with a significant pay increase in order to protect the bottom 5% of the teachers in the county. Its bad enough that the bottom 5% are un-fireable, now they held up a substantial pay raise for everybody for an entire year. Most teachers are also parents and they don’t want the bottom 5% teaching their kids. We need a teacher’s union that speaks for the good teachers and doesn’t use their resources to protect the slackers.

    The only exception I take to your post is in your implication that School boards and the State of Florida care more about ESE kids than the FEA. To be accurate, neither one cares about ESE kids. To support this, please visit http://www.fldeptofexceptionaleducation.org to see the travesty called ESE services in Florida. The site provides many documents detailing the incompetence (perhaps corruption) related to ESE services in Florida.

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