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Andrew Spar

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Andrew Spar, President of the Florida Education Association joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the ongoing attacks on educators in Florida. Spar also talked about the increasing trend of banning books in schools, the growing pressure on school superintendents and how recent laws have forced public sector unions to reassess their position.

The state of Florida has always allowed parents the right to mention a book they believe is out of place and have it reviewed before a decision to ban the book was made. Now, the rules have changed for everyone, Spar said. Parents have the ability to add any book to a complaint form and have it banned without providing a reason or a review. Spar said that while he believes parents should be able to have some input on the education of their children, there is a clear overstepping of boundaries into what is an inappropriate use of their input.

School superintendents are also facing increased pressure in Florida. Currently there is a 90 percent turnover rate on superintendent roles over the previous two years. A new law allows anyone to file a complaint on the operation of schools, and if found to be against the current trend, superintendents face fines and even possible dismissal from a single complaint. Spar shared a recent example of this happening, including false accusations being made to try and force out a superintendent.

Along with educators, other public sector union workers have been under the microscope. Public sector unions now require a number of increased demands from the state. Included is a state-mandated membership application and finding new ways to collect monthly dues. The FEA has responded well to the new demands, creating new dues collection methods for half their members and also adding 8,000 new members in the one month following the announcement of the new law. Spar is confident the FEA will be fully compliant by the time the law goes into effect on Oct. 1. 

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.


America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

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