February 11 — SREA Newsletter

February 11, 2018

Local News


Now is the time to join Santa Rosa EA – and pay LATER

With constant attacks on public education and unions like HB 25 and HB 7055, there has not been a better time to become a member of Santa Rosa EA. Santa Rosa is providing several options now that we have secured payroll deduction for dues collection. The following 4 options are available:


  1. Payroll deduction, using “Join Now, Pay Later”: Deduct you dues from your monthly paycheck beginning in March. Legal service protection will become effective 30 days after your first dues payment with this option.
  2. Payroll deduction without “Join Now, Pay Later.” If you need legal service protections to begin sooner, deduct your dues beginning with the first paycheck after your enrollment.
  3. Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT): Deduct your dues from your checking or savings account.
  4. Switch from EFT to Payroll Deduction. Opt for no interruption in legal service protections, or opt for “Join Now, Pay Later” and your legal service will resume 30 days after the first payroll dues deduction.




Exclusive Member Benefits for Santa Rosa EA members

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Members save an average of $3,383 off MSRP!


State News

Education “train” bill rumbles along
As you might know already, HB 7055 is the bigger, badder version of HB 7069 and HB 7055 was heard by the full House on Wednesday and Thursday this week. We thank the many, many legislators who asked questions of the sponsor and didn’t let up when they tried to divert attention away from some of the more egregious portions of the bill.

On Wednesday Rep. Geller (Dania Beach) offered three amendments (which failed. I know, you’re shocked) to bring parity to charter school contracts and hold charters to the same accountability for when they receive a “D” or “F” grade. Rep. Jones (West Park) offered 18 amendments to the bill, including several to the bully voucher portion, all of which failed. Rep. Moskowitz (Coral Springs) offered an amendment to give parents the option to remove the bully from the school rather than removing their child who was bullied. It failed, also.

On Thursday during debate Rep. Ausley (Tallahassee) called out the bill for attempting to strip out the collective bargaining protections for instructional personnel – teachers, paraprofessionals and others who directly work with students. She went on to point out that the state’s portion of the education budget, $8.3 billion, was tied to passage of a bill that directly hurts students and the people who are responsible for educating our students. Rep. Brown (Ocoee) railed against the fact that some have been asking for years for funding for wrap-around services and are told time and again that there are no funds available. Yet, miraculously, the chamber can come up with “new” money (read: re-directed general revenue) for students to attend private schools, even for parents who can certainly afford it. Rep. Stafford (Opa Locka) talked about how instructional personnel unions are carved out for decertification in the bill, at the same time teachers haven’t seen significant pay increases in years. She stated, “Unions matter and unions are still needed.” Rep. Smith (Winter Park) called out the sponsors for inclusion of the bully voucher in the bill in an effort to open up universal vouchers “one statute at a time, one budget line item at a time, one voucher at a time.”

At the end of a very long Thursday, HB 7055 passed by a 66-43 vote. If your Representative voted in opposition to HB 7055, we encourage you to take a moment and contact your legislator to thank them for standing up for students and teachers.

We now wait and see if the Senate will take up HB 7055 and how they will proceed. Indications are that the Senate has zero appetite to be forced to take an up-or-down vote tied to the budget as they were last session under HB 7069. Late on Thursday the Senate President stated that a bill that has substantial policy included (HB 7055) would be referred to committees and be heard through the committee process as a general bill, rather than as a conforming bill which is only available for an up-or-down vote and linked to passage of the budget.


National News


U.S. Students’ Disturbing Lack of Knowledge About Slavery

Only 8 percent of U.S. high school seniors can identify slavery as the central cause of the Civil War. A new study issues an urgent call on schools to do a better job at teaching the country’s ‘original sin.’


The Peacemaker

Growing up in poverty, Marcell Branch turned to life as a gangbanger. Today, he’s a paraeducator who works every day to keep his students on a better path.


Remember, the Big Picture Matters!

Santa Rosa Education Association