As the first parents in US history to force a vote to allow parents to file a charter application to convert a public school into a "Governing School";
I attended the most recent Florida Legislative session in Tallahassee. I arrived with our suggested language to amend the 2004 Parent Empowerment Law in hand. In synopsis are changes to the text to conduct fair balanced balloting process:
Hector Ceballos and I, believe this amendment to the 2004 law passed by Governor Bush, will keep the State of Florida as the trail blazer in the Parent Trigger movement as he intended.
Simply put, our state will have the most accountable law for parents to diligently get involved in the reinvention of the public school system. I gave my testimony of all negative impediments we encountered that denied our freedom of expression and debate in the public square while being subjects of intimidation by censure from FPTA and MDPTA . As it stands now it is an Un-American Law if not amended as we suggest. I met with Senators, Representatives and Governor's office during my visit. I emphasized our desire to redefine this effort going forward to better differientiate it from the "For Profit Charter " business model and traditional School District run institutional model.
Governing Schools are public schools on County owned school property that consist of a board of trustees of parent guardians over the schools adminstration budget. In doing so, Parents, with children attending the respective school, will discover ways to better manage the tax allocation for school's finances in order to reinvest budget surpluses back into the school year after year. For example we discovered, more than $1, 083,000.00 in surplus funds in M-D Key Biscayne K8 Center budget.
[ Yet we are asked to purchase reems of copy paper, paint brushes and paint eisles, surge protectors and image projectors, water coolers etc. etc. becuase District routinely claims budget shortfalls countywide. see a earlier post on this blogspot]
These surpluses can be used to award pay increases to excellant teachers directly without teachers losing thier retirement benefits with the Florida Retirement System. Additionally, these funds can accumulate and act as the impetus for corporate philantropy matching grants to demolish and redevelop aging schools facilities countywide, statewide and nationwide. Therefore eventually, no need to issue taxpayer financed school bonds every 25 years for the same purpose.
"Were not in it to win it. We were in it to change it. That “some day” should not be just be another “one day” next year.