FEA summit to discuss Legislature’s ‘attack’ on public schools

“We see this summit as the start of something big."

The Florida Education Association has announced an upcoming summit to discuss the state of Florida’s public schools after several education reform measures were approved by lawmakers.

The summit, titled “Bringing Voices Together: An Education Summit for Florida’s Public Schools,” will take place at the Hilton Orlando from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. May 18. According to a news release about the meeting, the ultimate goal is “uniting the allies of public education.”

“We see this summit as the start of something big, a real grassroots movement that brings together many disparate voices for our schools,” said FEA President Fedrick Ingram.

“Along with the majority of people in Florida, we believe that public education is a fundamental good for this state and for the nation as a whole. But our neighborhood public schools are under attack — there’s no other way to describe it.

“If public education is going to have a future in Florida, it’s time for the people who care about our public schools to step forward and take control of the conversation.”

The FEA opposed multiple bills ushered through this Session by the GOP-controlled Legislature, including an expansion of private school vouchers and a bill allowing teachers to be armed after undergoing training as part of the state’s Guardian Program.

The event will be free for those interested in attending, though those individuals are being asked to register beforehand. Nearly 800 people have already signed up, according to organizers.

Also sponsoring the event are the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, Black Women’s Roundtable, Equality Florida, Fund Education Now, League of Women Voters of Florida, NAACP Florida State Conference, Pastors for Florida Children and the Puerto Rican Action Initiative.

Together, those groups make up the new Coalition for Florida’s Public Schools.

“Any Floridian who sees high quality public education as a shared community value should be part of the Bringing Voices Together Summit,” said Kathleen Oropeza, founder of Fund Education Now.

“Nearly 3 million public school children need us to stand for them. This is a rare opportunity to expand understanding, build coalitions and define a new level of investment and equity for all students.”

“After the disastrous results of the 2019 Legislative Session, it is critical that we heighten our work with our partners in the education community to prevent further assaults on our public education system,” added Patti Brigham, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida.

Hosting the summit will be the World Café Community Foundation, which helps hold “large-group dialogues that are intended to turn small-group conversations into individual commitments to action.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


  • Charles Brown

    May 8, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    Florida Public Schools, the FEA, and the teachers unions have failed our schools. The private schools are flourishing in this state because of these groups. I especially feel the unions have been the primary culprit in the state of education. I only wish vouchers had been available when my children were in public schools. I fully support the Legislature passing this program and the Governor supporting this law.

  • Thomas D James

    May 9, 2019 at 11:13 am

    yawn! looks like the same old minority groups that permeate liberal gatherings. great thing is, they have ZERO power in FL!

  • Jan

    May 9, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    As a Republican and a school counselor in the Florida Public Schools for 35 year, there needs to be some balance here. Schools don’t fail: students, parents and communities fail.

    Florida Public Schools: accountable to state for spending, mandated standardized testing, paying licensed teachers based on union negotiated salary, requiring teachers to teach to state department standards, follow pupil progression laws, following laws requiring Publics to provide special services to SLD, EMH, Behavior disorder, ESOL, ADHD, Physically handicapped, 504 Plan students. And most of all, to take every student who walks through the door.

    Charter Schools: None of the above.

    Unless you have been in the Florida Public Schools like have have for 35 years, you have no idea what challenges the Public School faces every hour of every day. This requires the full legislative financial and public support. Why else is there a teacher shortage throughout Florida.

    Charters, Privates and Religious Schools make many promises to make parents happy–until the student has to take the national ACT or SAT for college admissions.

Comments are closed.


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