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.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Florida Coalition for School Board Members

Because of a roll-out media conference call that was conducted with impeccable skill by the professionals at Sachs Media Group in Tallahassee Monday, our new coalition has garnered more than 27 individual news articles and television pieces around Florida over the last several days. picked up a piece I wrote about our newly founded group:

As it became clear throughout the state that the Florida School Boards Association would not listen to their members and drop their support of the lawsuit, several school board members in Florida decided it was time for a new organization. In January 2015, a group of board members decided to create the Florida Coalition of School Board Members, to become a conservative voice of advocacy for statewide educational policies and positions.  This group includes School Board members from throughout Florida. The goals of this organization are fairly straightforward; Erika Donalds, a founding member of FCSBM who serves in Collier County (Naples), Florida, voiced some of these concerns on a media conference call on Monday from Tallahassee, Florida.“The FSBA has lost touch with the citizens whose tax dollars fund their existence—but our new coalition will represent the interests of ALL Florida

 students and their families and will assist the legislature with policies to support the future of excellent education in Florida” she stated.Shawn Frost, a newly elected school board member from Indian River County (Vero Beach) Florida, stated his rationale for joining this new coalition, saying “K-12 education today is filled with opportunities and choices. Students take courses in many different settings using many different delivery methods.  We need to embrace what’s best for all students—including permitting parents and students to select individual educational experiences that best meet their needs…no matter who is providing that education.” The Florida School Boards Association, Florida’s previous sole provider for School Board Member training and advocacy, has members from nearly every Florida County.  Although this well-funded organization takes in approximately $1.7M in annual taxpayer funded member dues, in recent years FSBA has found itself at odds with several initiatives coming from the state legislature and newly re-elected Florida Governor Rick Scott.  This has alienated FSBA from many conservative school board members in the process. FSBA’s record is clear: they’ve resisted reform to tenure procedures, they resisted an easing of the budget-busting class size mandate, and then recently they’ve gone to war on school choice by suing the legislature trying to end the tax-credit scholarships for 70,000 poor students and families statewide.

read  "New Coalition of School Board Members Rises in Florida to Challenge the Status Quo"

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