June 4 SREA Newsletter


With the election coming up on June 27th, we want to make sure we can keep in touch with you! We’ll let you know when the first ballots start arriving in Santa Rosa County mailboxes, and show you how to return yours so that your voice will be heard.

To make sure you still receive our newsletters, send us your home email address and we’ll add you to the new list.

Local News

Don’t buy into the FEAR

Now that an election for teachers has been scheduled, SRPE is spreading fearful, worst-case scenarios of what could happen if teachers vote this summer for a new organization to bargain for them. Such speculation has included losing duty free lunches, current health benefits, union representation on district committees, the 7.5 hour workday, a progressive discipline procedure for teachers, and so on.

It’s important to remember that the laws governing the collective bargaining relationship Santa Rosa EA will enter into with the District if it wins are the same SRPE and the District must abide by now. Despite SRPE’s fractured relations with the District, has the Board proposed to take away any of the above benefits from teachers in this year’s bargaining?

The answer, of course, is no.

Instead of speculating and fearmongering about what could possibly happen if teachers vote for Santa Rosa EA, let’s take a look at the current state of affairs with the current union bargaining for teachers, SRPE.

Did you know…

  • SRPE is the only association still at the bargaining table this school year? And, it won’t be done anytime soon.
  • SRPE teacher membership is at an all-time low with just over 600 members? This is a decrease of over 500 members since the 2008-09 school year, despite the District employing more teachers than it did 9 years ago.
  • SRPE has no clear legislative lobbying program to support and protect public education?
  • SRPE has made no noticeable attempt to build bridges with School Board members?
  • SRPE has had little to no presence in the schools despite protracted bargaining, severely declining membership, a destructive legislative session, and an election which stands to unseat the leadership and its bargaining team?
  • SRPE currently is paying a pro-charter school organization – AAE (American Association of Educators) –– to provide liability insurance for its teacher members?
  • SRPE recently was sued by some of its own members for refusing to disclose financial information and lost – and now is trying to block its members from learning about it? (READ MORE BY CLICKING HERE)

Chances are, you aren’t aware of some of these facts because SRPE would rather teachers make their voting decision based upon speculation of what could happen in the future instead of what has (or hasn’t) actually occurred under SRPE’s watch.




State News

Rick Scott agrees to sign the $82.4 billion state budget; HB 7069 still needs to be VETOed

Gov. Rick Scott and state lawmakers have agreed to a broad deal settling a long list of disagreements over the state budget, including more money for schools and funding for the governor’s top priorities of economic development and tourism marketing.

Lawmakers have agreed to boost public school spending by $210 million, bringing the total increase in this year’s state budget to $100 per student. That’s still less than half of what Scott and the Senate sought, but it’s a significant increase from the extra $24.49 per student the Legislature approved in its budget.

Florida Education Association President Joanne McCall said that yet another secret deal to potentially increase funding for public education did little to fix the immense problems created by lawmakers during the legislative session. She urged the governor to veto the backroom deal that became HB 7069, which ignored most of what parents, teachers and education staff professionals know needs to be done to improve our public schools.

“Parents and taxpayers want stronger traditional public schools, not a parallel school system that divvies up scarce tax dollars,” McCall said. ”This bill will not help our students, our teachers, our school employees or our public schools. It is a wrecking ball aimed directly at our traditional public schools. It is not what Floridians want for their children and their schools.”

The suggested increase in the FEFP budget does not offset the serious harm to traditional public schools and its students that HB 7069 creates. Nor does it address the serious issue with how our education policy was crafted as the governor raised time and again. The only way the governor can uphold his fight for traditional public schools is by vetoing HB 7069 and calling on all 160 members of the Legislature to craft meaningful education policy with input from parents, teachers and the public.

Don’t let lawmakers get away with manipulating our legislative process and starving our public schools. The Legislature has the money to properly fund our public schools – they are just choosing not to. Email the Governor and tell him to VETO HB 7069 . It only takes a few minutes to make your voice heard!

National News

When Should a Student Be Held Back?

Too many districts are getting this wrong. Find out why.