Guidelines

I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.








Monday, October 12, 2009

Florida School Boards Association Draft 2010 Legislative Platform

The Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) lists the following on their website under "About FSBA":

"The Florida School Boards Association, Inc. (FSBA) is a nonprofit corporation representing all school board members in Florida. FSBA has been the collective voice for Florida school districts since 1930 and is closely allied with other educational and community agencies to work toward improvement of education in Florida.

THE MISSION OF THE FLORIDA SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION IS TO SUPPORT AND ASSIST SCHOOL BOARDS IN SHAPING AND IMPROVING EDUCATION IN FLORIDA BY IMPACTING LEGISLATION AND PROVIDING PROACTIVE LEADERSHIP AND TRAINING THROUGH A NETWORK OF SERVICES AND INFORMATION.
"

Each year the FSBA takes input from the roughly 360 School Board members throughout the state, and a legislative platform is developed.

The 2010 draft platform can be seen here

Selected representatives from each district compromise the platform committee, which distills information and input from the various individual board members who submit suggested edits. Eventually, a platform is finalized.

While not 100% perfect, getting the 360 or so elected board members from around the state to totally agree on every aspect of a legislative agenda is impossible. I am in agreement with a lion's share of the draft platform, and I strongly agree with many of the items on the platform. My chief areas of disagreement come when on the platform the FSBA wants to advocate for the elimination of certain tax exemptions (which equates to a tax increase for many businesses). I also do not agree with the FSBA platform element that seeks the change to the Merit Award Plan (MAP) to a "group award". The MAP is an individual award and School Recognition Funds are the group award. (Ironically, the School Recognition Funds, paid out of lottery proceeds, serve as a de facto "group award" for schools and their staffs--however this draft 2010 FSBA legilative platform advocates for holding the school recognition program in abeyance?? I neither understand nor do I agree with this apparent contradiction in the platform)

In my opinion, some other areas of the platform also miss the mark; For this reason I am submitting some of my recommendations/suggestions on a form provided for such input and the School Board will be discussing these platform issues at our monthly board discussion workshop this Thurday, October 15, at 3:00 at the Downtown Garden Street office.

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this meeting on Thursday to voice their opinions on this or any other subject.

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