Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Letter to Education Secretary DaVos and Convention of States Florida

As the first Florida PTA President to apply the only direct ballot Parent Trigger Law in the United States in 2013, I would like to invite all Convention of States advocates, to support amending the Florida Parent Empowerment Law 1002.33 (3b). It’s voting guidelines are un-American separating the ballot between parents and Teachers and requiring proponent for conversion to win both elections by 50+1 margin, providing the majority of the parents at the school actually vote. These closed society voting guidelines Teacher’s Union veto power over Parent’s desire to convert a school is a un-American closed society election. A "yes vote"  empowers a Guardianship Board to be established to manage the school budget post intra-school election. This is what I propose in the synopsis on my experience at the KB K8 Center. I invite all COSFL participants to fire trigger letters at your county school in every county to bring light to this egregious law that allows teachers to abuse your children because you vote 'Yes"! 

    • In order to reinvent America’s public school system parent must be at the helm of the particular school’s budget. The key to fixing the Public School is not in the classroom. It is not an increase in test scores as previously thought. For it is not a key. It is the combination padlock on a safe in Principal's office. The nation’s only direct ballot parent trigger law is law in Florida. It needs its language in the voting guidelines amended as follows: Deleting a three letter word ‘and’  deleted while inserting a two letter word "or” within the body paragraph of the 2010 Florida Parent Empowerment Law state statute 1002.33 (3b). Then the removal of the word ‘Charter” wherever it appears and rebranded as additional school choice model as the Parent Guardianship School. 

                                                                                                                                        THE BENEFITS:

  1. Parent Guardian Schools are Not Charter Schools
  2.  Parents acting as Guardians of an individual school budget thus saving surpluses annually for school expansion and modernization instead of depending on school bond proceeds.
  3. Parent Guardians do not pay rent for county-owned school district property
  4. No construction finance nor debt obligation upon start up
  5. Converted School receives their administrative funding directly from the Florida Department of Education not the County School Board nor School Superintendent
  6. There is no marketing budget to attract students
  7. Teachers stay in the State of Florida  Retirement System but lose tenure
  8. Tax relief for the property owner at large as the reduction of continuous issuance of school bonds debt at the ballot box every twenty years dissipates over time as the success converting schools to Guardianship School. 

*amended words inserted in Green )

(a) An application for a new Parent Guardianship School may be made by an individual, teachers, parents, a group of individuals, a municipality, or a legal entity organized under the laws of this state.
(b) An application for a conversion to Parent Guardianship School* shall be made by the district school board, the principal, teachers, parents, or the school advisory council at an existing public school that has been in operation for at least 2 years prior to the application to convert. A public school-within-a-school that is designated as a school by the district school board may also submit an application to convert to charter governing school status. An application submitted proposing to convert an existing public school to a Parent Governing school shall demonstrate the support of at least 50 +1 percent of the teachers employed at the school OR* 50 + 1 percent of the parents voting whose children are enrolled at the school, provided that a majority of the parents eligible to vote participate in the ballot process, according to rules adopted by the State Board of Education. The vote for conversion shall be required to be completed within ninety (90) days from the date the school administrator receives the written request for a vote.  The local school district shall be required to make certain mandatory disclosures once a school administrator receives the written request to conduct a vote.  Within seven (7) days of receipt of the written request, the local school district shall provide to the person requesting the vote the following items (1) a list containing the names of each parent with children enrolled at the school at that time, (2) a list containing the names of each teacher who is eligible to vote, (3) a detailed budget showing all expenses and all state and federal revenues generated over the previous three years for the particular district-operated school for which a vote for conversion has been requested.  At least fourteen (14) days prior to the commencement of any vote, the local school district shall permit the person requesting the vote to utilize the school cafeteria or its equivalent, at the school that is the subject of the vote, to hold a meeting at a reasonable time to provide information to the parents and teachers in support of the vote.  The person who requested the vote shall be entitled to organize and Chair the meeting and to provide written educational material to the parents and teachers who attend the meeting.  The persons who requested the vote shall be entitled to have a designee assigned to work with the school administrator to confirm that the initial notification has been mailed to all eligible voters and that all ballots have been mailed to the eligible voters and to be present at the time of balloting in order to confirm the voter's eligibility and witnessing the voters casting the ballot.  The person who requested the vote shall be entitled to draft the content of the initial notification to the parents and teachers, describing the purpose of the vote and the conditions for the balloting process as well as the content of the ballot itself.  A district school board denying an application for a conversion to Parent Guardianship school shall provide notice of denial to the applicants in writing within 10 days after the meeting at which the district school board denied the application. The notice must articulate in writing the specific reasons for denial and must provide documentation supporting those reasons. 

A private school, parochial school, or home education program shall not be eligible for Parent Guardianship School *status.



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