FEA to rally in Tallahassee for public education changes ahead of 2020 Legislation Session
FEA's 2016 rally saw about 3,000 participants. The group expects even more for Monday's 2020 event.

2016 FEA rally
FEA officials anticipate thousands will participate in Monday’s rally.

Teachers, community activists and union leaders will rally in front of the Old State Capitol Monday on the eve of the 2020 Legislation Session.

Organized by the Florida Educational Association (FEA), the “Take on Tallahassee: A Rally For Education” campaign will demand that state lawmakers fix what it calls fundamental flaws with Florida’s public education system.

FEA argues Florida is 43rd in the nation when it comes to total public education funding and 46th in average teacher salary. It also accuses state lawmakers of creating misguided policies that have led to the over-testing of students and school districts losing local control.

“This is about student success,” FEA President Fedrick Ingram said. “This is about getting all students the public schools they deserve.”

Ingram maintains the state has spent the past decade disinvesting in public education, to its detriment. He argues it’s time to speak truth to power and hold lawmakers accountable.

FEA officials anticipate thousands will participate in Monday’s rally. The response could top the 3,000 activists who showed up to rally in 2016. Participants are expected to include preK-12 teachers, higher education faculty, community activists and faith leaders. 

Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton and National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen García are among the slated out-of-state speakers.

Student journalists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will attend and report on the rally. A mass shooting at the school nearly two years left 17 people dead and 17 injured. State lawmakers immediately passed legislation, including mandating all Florida public schools have armed security and school administrators report the number of on-campus disruptive or violent incidents to the state.

Districts were also allowed to participate in the controversial school “guardian” program, which trains employees to carry guns in schools.

But last month a grand jury and a state commission found many school districts are failing to comply with those requirements.

FEA officials say anyone who cares about Florida’s preK-12 public schools, state colleges and universities are invited to participate. All who attend are encouraged to wear “red for ed.”

The rally starts at 1:30 p.m. Monday with a march from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. The Old Capitol rally program beginning at 2 p.m.

The Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) will close Monroe Street between Gaines Street and College Avenue, according to TPD spokesman Officer Damon Miller Jr. And westbound Apalachee Parkway will be blocked at the Franklin Boulevard exit.

“Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area and take alternate routes,” Miller said. “TPD will advise when the roadways reopen.”

Sarah Mueller

Sarah Mueller has extensive experience covering public policy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2010. She began her career covering local government in Texas, Georgia and Colorado. She returned to school in 2016 to earn a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting. Since then, she’s worked in public radio covering state politics in Illinois, Florida and Delaware. If you'd like to contact her, send an email to [email protected]

One comment

  • Michael Sirbola

    January 11, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Teacher Strikes are illegal because of the presumption that by striking one is ENDANGERING children directly – Strikes are ILLEGAL precisely BECAUSE of the Code of Ethics 1.b. that all teachers work under. However, 1.b. ALSO provides every INDIVIDUAL sworn to it not just the right to strike on behalf of children, it DEMANDS it of every teacher!


    The key question is, when does underfunding reach CRIMINAL proportions? Can it, ever? Of course it can!

    What can be done, and who determines when the degree of deprivation reaches criminal proportions?

    This IS NOT simply a matter of how LITTLE TEACHERS ARE PAID – the TOTAL budget is what matters most in regard the TEACHERS CODE OF PROFFESSIONAL ETHICS, 1. b.. Educational and Health underfunding includes how many teachers (per student), and administrators, support people, nurses and counselors. In regard 1. b. this TOTAL matters far MORE than what focusing solely on what everyone is paid and even how well trained, although all of these factors are clearly interdependent. Also…

    Importantly this also includes FACILITIES MAINTENANCE, especially.

    EQUITY also matters, significantly, when discussing 1. b. and possible criminal negligence in regard putting children at risk through criminal-levels of underfunding.

    ALL teachers and educators are BOTH Legally and Morally bound by the Educators Code of Ethics 1. b. which makes clear the obligation to protect children – period.

    1.b. is not flowery, but straightforward and simple.

    Teachers cannot strike because of the greater social good – indeed, this is the CORE foundation of the GOVernments very ability to Ban Strikes which hinges ENTIRELY on the precepts stated in 1. b..

    Strikes were made illegal because of the presumption that by striking one is ENDANGERING children directly.

    Secondarily, children are also presumed to be harmed indirectly by upsetting and damaging the social mileau. These arguments become mute however when pitted against the INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS of ANYONE WORKING UNDER THE AUSPICES OF the Teachers “Oath” as codified in 1.b. who refuses to work in further support of any effort, undertaking, enterprise, or organization that puts inividuals in conflict with their legal and moral obligation to protect children as stated clearly in 1.b..


    1.b. doesn’t JUST provide every INDIVIDUAL sworn to it the right to strike on behalf of children, it DEMANDS it of every teacher!



    ACT TO SAVE OUR CHILDREN who have, because of this criminal underfunding and general societal neglect been forced to literally take to the streets as the MOST VOICELESS and POWERLESS of us under a banner reading, “A MARCH FOR OUR LIVES!”

    Take to the streets and STRIKE under the universal teachers oath of 1.b. because it is EVERY TEACHERS INDIVIDUAL MORAL OBLIGATION to do so when faced with criminal levels of underfunding.


    Our children, to our shame, are forced to stand up for themselves and march in the streets – Now it is time for adults to stand up for children!


    #FLFire #UnderfundingIsChildAbuse

Comments are closed.


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