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, December 2, 2015
FCSBM offers Free Ethics Training for School Board Members
To be fiscally prudent with precious taxpayer dollars, I co-founded and serve as President of an organization that serves school board members statewide--the Florida Coalition of School Board Members.
Soon we will be launching our nationwide platform, The American Coalition of School Board Members, so that we can assist board members nation-wide while saving them taxpayer dollars simultaneously.
With today's technologies and readily accessible open-sourced resources on the internet, we believe strongly that prudent, fiscally conservative school board members should leverage such technology to augment their professional training and development as one way to save taxpayer dollars.
A great example of such wise stewardship is this:
Every year Florida School Board Members must take a required ethics course. We at FCSBM have put together a FREE Ethics Taining Course utilizing readily available materials, already produced at taxpayer expense. We recently received an opinion from the state Ethics Commission that validates our training program as one that meets the state requirement.
So we have amalgamated the program and we invite any school board member in the state to take this training for FREE! If every Florida school board member took advantage of this opportunity, state taxpayers would save $58,000.00 dollars.
Because other organizations charge their members $155 dollars to take this training online, on top of and in addition to the $3,000-$4,000 in yearly membership charges these same organizations hit the
taxpayers up for yearly for "dues" per board member -- in order to advocate for school boards.
Yes, all training by these other organizations are collected "on top of" huge yearly membership dues assessments (Escambia County's 2015 dues for 5 members was $21,766.00!---I voted against it!)
So yes, we at FCSBM are bucking the trend, we are going to inject cost-saving alternatives into this ethics training arena first, and our aim is to also, very soon, have legislation passed that will allow individual school board members statewide to either 1.) opt-out of paying or 2.) the redirect their portion(s) of these exorbitant "association" dues that are currently expended in "Blocks" instead of "Individually" to less costly, more beneficial and technologically savvy advocacy organizations.
Eventually, very soon, this will save $Millions of dollars for Florida Taxpayers.
Legislation made it through and passed the House of Representatives last year, and this year our aim is to get this legislation through the Senate as well and eventually across the finish line.
Individual Board Members should be able to make advocacy allocations on an individual basis---just as we currently do for professional development and conference participation.
This will happen, and competition this fosters will make all advocacy organizations leaner and more efficient--which ultimately benefits students by leaving more tax-dollars back in the districts to benefit schools!
This Free Ethics training savings for members is just the beginning!