Happy New Year, Florida Citizens Alliance supporters! Can you believe 2017 is almost in the record books? I can’t! But year-end is a good time for reflecting on accomplishments and contemplating the way forward.
2017 was a watershed year for FLCA. During the latter part of the year we took a step back to look at what we were doing and made a decision to sharpen our focus. That sharpened focus is reflected in the following statements:
WHO WE ARE
Florida Citizens’ Alliance (FLCA) is a grass roots alliance of individuals and groups providing common sense solutions for K-12 education in Florida. We are a non-profit, 501c3 volunteer alliance united by the belief that education is foundational to the preservation of liberty.
WHAT MOTIVATES US
Our establishment education system is failing America’s students academically, civically and morally. Florida children are being indoctrinated in a public-school system that undermines their individual rights and destroys our founding principles and family values.
WHAT WE DO
Through legislative action, factual and unbiased research, county based reform groups and insightful online content, Florida Citizens’ Alliance provides common sense solutions for improving K-12 education in Florida.
WHAT BELIEFS GUIDE US
We believe in the potential of every child and work to allow every student the opportunity to succeed. We believe schools should provide students with academic excellence and principled civic awareness.
For students to realize their potential, we believe education reform must be characterized by:
- Free market competition and
- Parental choice.
These ideals require a foundational emphasis on our nation’s founding principles, individual rights, family values and the US Constitution. A strong foundation helps ensure lasting reform rather than short term gains.
2017 was a very good year! Here are just a few highlights:
- HB 989 Instructional Materials bill we wrote was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. It’s a good beginning.
- We had volunteers from 11 counties travel to Tallahassee (some of us made the trip 8 times) and met with over 100 Florida House and Senate Legislators.
- We had 28 local teams present our FLCA 2018 Education Legislative Agenda at their County Legislative Delegation hearings.
- We strongly supported the transformative education HB 7069 led by Speaker Richard Corcoran and signed by Governor Scott. We’ve rattled some establishment cages with this bill — twelve school districts have filed suit to stop it because it threatens their union control and their monopoly.
- We have partnered with Truth in Textbooks (formerly Truth in Texas Textbooks) and have now trained over 20 Florida folks to critically assess the quality of social studies textbook publishers like Pearson, McGraw-Hill, etc.
- We now have leaders in almost 30 counties who are working to form local county education “watchdog teams”.
The path ahead is long and steep, but we never give up! Here’s some of what’s on the FLCA agenda for 2018:
- We have 2 Education bills filed in the State Legislature for 2018 session which begins on Jan 9:
- SB 966 and HB 825 by Senator Baxley and Representative Stone are companion bills that will make the existing “Next Generation Sunshine State Standards” the MINIMUM standards (as opposed to their current role as the ultimate standards goal) and encourage school districts to strive for student excellence.
- HB 827 (a FL DOE instructional materials bill filed by Representative Donalds) will take a major step forward in fixing the State Instructional Materials Adoption Process. Senator Lee has agreed to file in the senate and we are working to make the bill even stronger than its initial filed version.
- FLCA will also be aggressively assessing all education bills filed for 2018 and help you sort out the good, the bad and ugly. So far we strongly support HB 1, an anti-bullying bill that puts the child and parent ahead of the establishment monopoly. We will also be supporting term limits for school board members.
- FLCA is hosting a major fundraiser in February featuring Dinesh D’Souza who will be speaking on “Education in America”.
- For the upcoming election season, FLCA has developed and tested a process for evaluating candidates and holding primary forums to help local voters “vote informed” based on issues and constitutional principles.
- FLCA has built a strong organizational board and advisory council committed to growing our influence to improve outcomes for our kids in the state legislature and with local school boards across the State.
The Bottom Line:
Florida Kids Deserve Better! FLCA is committed to being a solutions-oriented organization working tirelessly for Florida’s children in pursuit of real solutions that improve student learning.
Join us and make our collective voice even louder!
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