This guide is meant to be used by 501(c)(3)s interested in encouraging voting and voter participation among their staff, board, clients, constituents and communities.
“Over the past several months the united voices of parents were heard from the halls of our state capitol to the offices of the Commissioner of Education. Your advocacy efforts created policy changes. The phone calls, e-mails, and visits to your elected officials demonstrated how relationships effect change. This is the foundation of advocacy.” -Florida PTA
Your voice and your vote matters!
- Not sure you are registered to vote? Find out here: Check Voter Status
- Need to register to vote? Find out how here: Register to Vote
- Not sure what and who is on the ballot? Find out about candidates and issues from your community here: Vote 411
Legislative Report: General PTSA Meeting 2/14/19
A parent asked what we can do about 50-60 student elective class size as well as media specialists no longer being provided in FL public schools.
Answer: The voters have spoken—and public schools lost. We are playing defense with this pro-school choice/pro-charter Administration.
Last meeting, I made an announcement from Nancy Lawther, president of Miami PTSA, who recommended taking organized action as public school parents. Our Florida Representatives are looking to roll back the new gun legislation passed immediately after Parkland in addition to other anti-public school measures. A few at the meeting were surprised that those we have put in office hold these positions. Unfortunately, we are now in an era of identity politics where education policies are not considered before a vote is cast. Please, in the future, go to smartvote.org a non-partisan guide to finding policies that match your values. That way, if you don’t want guns in your schools, you can see very clearly who will do that for you, and who won’t. #policyoverparty
The latest from Tallahassee:
2/1/19: The Governor is proposing to double our per student spending to $224 and increase teacher incentives out of that funding ($50 per student is in flexible spending for districts—last year it was about 50 cents), overhaul how Florida rewards teachers, proposing $500 million to reward and recruit teachers that would ditch the testing requirement (currently bonuses are tied to SAT/ACT entrance exam scores).
2/12/19: Hopefully you received and responded to our Day of Action to let our legislators on the Education Committee know that the PTSA joins teachers unions, school boards and parents in opposition to The Guardian Program to arm school staff and teachers. They voted in favor of the program.
Here are the Senators who made the decisions to put more guns in schools:
YEA: Baxley, Perry, Simmons, Stargel, Diaz
Here are the ones that voted against guns in schools:
Nay: Berman, Cruz, Montford
2/14/19: SB 1028 was filed to force school districts to share referenda revenues with charter schools on a per pupil basis.
Below are contacts. Please make your voices heard!
Senate Education Committee:
Chair Manny Diaz: firstname.lastname@example.org 850 487 5036
Vice Chair, Bill Montford email@example.com 850 487 5003
Dennis Bailey firstname.lastname@example.org 850 487 5012
Lori Berman email@example.com 850 487 5031
Janet Cruz firstname.lastname@example.org 850 487 5018
Keith Perry Perry.email@example.com 850 487 5008
David Simmons firstname.lastname@example.org 850 487 5009
Kelli Stargel Stargel.email@example.com 850 487 5022
The Governor is rolling over the $57 million that hasn’t been spent from last year’s budget, and recommending $100 million for additional security measures to school buildings and $10 million for mental health programs.
The proposed budget includes $5.2 billion in reserves.
2/6/19: A bill was proposed for term limits to serve on FL school boards.
Thank you for staying informed!
Contact Elizabeth Heise, PTSA Legislative Chair: Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org
The PTSA Advocacy Chair will be presenting regular training opportunities for our students, parents, and faculty throughout the year. Please join us for our next upcoming event: