The economy has forced the Legislature to make some tough decision on the budget. However, over the past 4 years, FLVS has taken almost double the cut in funds per student than school districts and may be facing some additional cuts this year. Millions of your tax dollars have been spent to create the best virtual school in the world. FLVS is a very successful choice program and enrollment is 100% demand driven. FLVS has served thousands of home education students. In order to protect the Florida Virtual School and keep it a viable option for ALL Florida students you need to let your elected officials know what a valuable school FLVS is.
At this point your letters should be testimonies. Most legislators do not know the difference between the FLVS and the other full-time virtual programs. FLVS is more than just a curriculum online; it is a school with a great deal of teacher/student and teacher/parent interaction. Unless legislators have had a child taking courses they may not know how unique FLVS really is.
Budget decisions are being discussed right now and the Session begins in a weeks so you need to take action NOW.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION:
* Write your Florida Legislators and Governor as soon as possible.
* Tell them how much you love FLVS and how much teacher/student interaction there is.
* Ask them to keep FLVS as a well-funded viable option for all Florida students.
*Note: If you had a negative experience make sure your child was actually enrolled in the FLVS and not a school district franchise of FLVS. Some students have reported limited office hours and teacher availability in some of the district franchise program.
FLVS is the premier virtual school in the country. It has won all kinds of national and international awards for excellence. It is by far the choice of school districts, parents and students. FLVS is one of the few, if not the only, government entities that actually creates a product that is sold out of state to bring revenue back into the state to support education.
Encourage Legislators to Expand FLVS
Instead of cutting the funding as the Legislature needs to consider expanding FLVS.
* FLVS could provide dual enrollment courses for students who want to accelerate their education.
The result of legislation that was passed in the 2012 Session dual enrollment courses was limited in almost every state college. The Legislature makes it possible for FLVS to provide dual enrollment courses statewide in order to meet the demand of students who want to accelerate their education.
* FLVS is positioned to provide industry certifications in technology and business for ALL students in the state.
Recently, Gov. Scott announced that there were 64,000 high tech jobs in the science, engineering, technology and math fields in Florida. However, there aren’t enough people to fill the jobs. FLVS could play a significant role in training students for those high-skilled, high wage jobs.Traditional career and technical centers and State Colleges only train those students who live in the district. If a student lives in another part of the state they may not have access to the courses they may want to take. Florida needs to provide opportunities to ALL students in this state not just those who live in the “right” district. For example, Okaloosa Co. has an Aerospace and Engineering Academy which partners with Embry-Riddle College to provide college credit courses. Pinellas and Pasco have an outstanding Engineering Academy. But, if you live in Tallahassee, Tampa or Miami-Dade your child cannot access those programs. Not all students who live in Okaloosa, Pinellas and Pasco have access to the limited number of seats in the program. Why shouldn’t any Florida student have access to as many of those programs as possible? After all, it was your tax dollars that paid for these area-specific programs. FLVS could offer much of the coursework developed by the districts online and make those courses available to many more students.Your letters need to be friendly and positive*. You need to ask legislators and the Governor to protect and expand the Florida Virtual School. Parents, as well as students, need to write letters as soon as possible. The House and Senate are preparing their budgets. Mail your TESTIMONIAL letters ASAP to the Tallahassee office:
Your Florida Representative which can be found at: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/representatives.aspx (http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/representatives.aspx )
Your Florida Senator: http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/#Senators ( http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/#Senators )
Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
If you have a home education question you would like Brenda to answer in a future issue, please submit it to www.flhef.org/contact-us (http://www.flhef.org/contact-us )
The Home Education Foundation is supported solely by contributions of Florida home educators.