The Florida Education Association is highly litigious, flush with resources from membership dues and fees, and it’s politically active.
It often gets its way, but not without collateral damage.
In its fight with the Legislature for more school funding, the union is determined to destroy a privately funded scholarship program giving 68,000 of Florida’s poorest students the opportunity to attend private schools.
Unlike low-income families, dozens of union leaders can afford to do without it.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 45 FEA officers and employees made six-figure salaries in 2013 — four were among the top 12 highest paid union members in the state.
Andy Ford, president of the FEA, was the highest paid member of any union. Ford took home more than $395,000 in total compensation last year, according to government records. From 2010 to 2013, Ford pocketed more than $1.1 million.
Union vice president Joanne McCall was the third highest paid union member in Florida in 2013, at $283,757. McCall made $1.3 million over the past 10 years, according to records — $1.8 million when including benefits.
Gov. Rick Scott would make $158,000 annually, though he declines to take a salary.
In contrast, families opting for the scholarships rely on free or reduced-priced school lunches. Eligible students also include those in foster care.
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By William Patrick | Florida Watchdog
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