The Florida Education Association isn’t letting up on its attacks over the Florida House’s new omnibus education bill, first focusing on House Speaker Richard Corcoran but now targeting other state reps supporting the legislation as well.
Earlier this week, the FEA launched a new ad campaign going after Corcoran over the bill, a 200-page document which lays out a number of provisions for the state’s education system.
FEA president Joanne McCall called the bill a “monstrosity” and said it aimed to dismantle the state’s public schools.
“This...is a clear attempt to destroy our public schools while telling professional educators they simply are not welcome in Florida,” McCall said in a statement. “Today we are asking lawmakers to stand up to Speaker Corcoran and for our children, for our teachers and for our public schools. We are asking them to say ‘enough is enough.'"
The FEA launched a 30-second clip railing against the bill and Corcoran earlier this week, but other lawmakers have now found themselves in the crossfire over the bill as well.
According to Florida Politics, nearly 10 other lawmakers have been targeted in a series of FEA mailers against the bill. Republican Reps. Larry Ahern, Chuck Clemons and Elizabeth Porter were among the lawmakers singled out in the flyers hitting mailboxes around the state.
The mailers slam Corcoran as “the ultimate big government bully” and say each respective representative is “too much of a coward” to stand up to the Speaker.
The flyers allude to a new provision in the bill which would establish a new voucher program for bullied students, allowing them to transfer out of their current school and attend a private school instead.
“Instead of going after real bullies in local schools, Corcoran’s bill tells kids that have been bullied that they should run and hide -- and go to a different school,” the mailer reads. “That’s what we should expect from a Big Government bully like Richard Corcoran.
Other portions of HB 7055 would make it more difficult for school districts to eliminate charter schools and next year’s funding for public schools would also become contingent on lawmakers passing the legislation.
One of the more controversial aspects of the bill directly affects teachers' unions like the FEA, who would be required to maintain a 50 percent membership among total teachers statewide.
According to data from EducationWeek, Florida is home to over 180,000 teachers. Around 137,000 teachers make up the FEA.
See the mailer below.