March 26 SREA Newsletter

It may be Spring Break but Santa Rosa EA continues the fight to give you a choice for CHANGE.

While teachers, paraprofessionals and students enjoyed a well-deserved break form the classroom, Santa Rosa EA worked hard to collect cards and contact Santa Rosa educators. During the break, members of our staff fanned out across Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties visiting homes to talk to educators. Thank you to those who took the time to visit with us, give input, and sign cards. The response has been amazing. Close to 75% of the teachers and paraprofessionals we visited signed a card calling for the election.

At the same time, your fellow teachers sacrificed their time off to call colleagues: answering questions and dispelling myths about the CHANGE they want for their union. We appreciate everyone’s input and time.

For months now Santa Rosa EA has been visiting schools and homes. We are now in the backstretch of that campaign. As it moves forward, we want to know how you feel about the current situation and what you want your new representative to look like. SREA staff will be visiting work sites to meet with members, gather input and answer questions. Watch for an opportunity near you to have a say in what CHANGE should look like.

If you want to see a CHANGE, and have not had an opportunity to complete an interest card, please complete the card (please fill out the correct form – the top is for teachers and the bottom for Education Staff Professionals) and send it one of two ways:

  1. Mail to Santa Rosa EA, P.O. Box 723, Milton, FL 32570
  2. Email us at SREA@floridaea.org to arrange for your card to be picked up at your worksite

State News

Class size shenanigans
Ask any teacher and they will tell you that class size does matter. Add a few more students to a class and the dynamic changes. Years ago, Florida voters understood this and voted to put class size in the constitution. Because the Florida Legislature prefers the old adage “do more with less,” it has neglected to fully fund the amendment, and has worked to find ways around the law. Over the years it has eliminated classes from the core and exempted charter schools. Now it wants to do away with the penalties for violating the law. In SB 808, by Sen. Debbie Mayfield of Melbourne, and HB 591, by Rep. Ralph Masullo of Beverly Hills, the bills will do away any class by class penalties and return things to a school wide average. Since the have already exempted Charter School from this requirement, Rep. Masullo seemed to think this was only fair as it put everyone on the “same equal Playing field.” Fortunately, this bill will not reduce the amount of categorical funding to the Districts.

National News

Words Matter: The Repercussions of What We Say – And Don’t Say – About Students
In everyday conversation, relying on labels and “scripts” is an easy but superficial way to talk about something that we may not know that much about (even if we think we do). This may be harmless enough, but it depends on the setting and circumstances. When we communicate with and about our students, the stakes are very high, says Mica Pollock. Using labels and other uninformed comments about their “groups,” intelligence and communities slows students down. When it’s done right, however, communication can be a powerful tool for equity – the focus of Pollock’s new book, “Schooltalk: Rethinking What We Say About – and to – Our Students Every Day.”