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.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

FCSBM Blitzes Tallahassee to Rock the Status Quo

President Don Gaetz joins the founding members of the Florida Coalition of School Board Members at a Legislative Reception in Tallahassee Wednesday, March 11, 2015.  L to R  Erika Donalds, (Collier County), Bridget Ziegler (Sarasota County). Pres. Don Gaetz, Jeff Bergosh (Escambia County). Shawn Frost (Indian River County)

Today the members of the upstart, conservative Florida Coalition of School Board Members “stormed” Tallahassee, meeting and speaking with 5 Senators and a total of 12 State Representatives.  We were very well received at every stop, and the legislators were happy to hear from a group of School Board Members that wants to work together with them ( not SUE them) for the benefit of students, parents and taxpayers. 

At our legislative reception, board members from throughout the state of Florida met and heard from State Representatives Gonzales, Hudson, and Fitzenhagen.  Sen. Don Gaetz joined the group of thirty assembled at our reception and gave words of encouragement, expressing support for our coalition, while simultaneously explaining that he thought it refreshing that conservative board members from around the state will have a voice, an advocate. 

Our coalition attended the Senate Education committee meeting, with our treasurer, Erika Donalds, speaking on behalf of charter schools.  Our group left each legislator with a one page position paper, detailing our positions on several bills of interest-most importantly HB 549 (SB1114).  We sat down with Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., and discussed this bill in depth.

We also expressed our continuing support for the bills related to expanding school choice, as well as Sen Legg’s accountability bill.

At each stop today, our group spoke with one voice:  We support students, parents, and taxpayers first and foremost---not the system, the bureaucracy, and the status quo.  Our message was very well received!

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