Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Urgent Call to Action for Floridians!

I got this email in my inbox from my son's teacher. The budget cuts talked about in the schools, is even hitting the cost saving charter school my son uses to avoid falling behind and failing 10th grade. If you have ever used Florida Virtual School, know someone who has, or planned to utilize this option, this is YOUR call to action to contact your legislators to demand that Florida Virtual School options remain as they are, not eliminated or restricted.
Now, for that email I was sent:
________________

Dear Parents and Students,
I am aware that you may have received the following email last Friday from Florida Virtual School. Since this is such a serious matter that affects you directly I felt it was important to follow up and provide some updated information. Evidently the Senate Appropriations Committee is voting on the proposed bill this Wednesday morning at 9:00am (April 1st). Please read the email again and take action today. This is a message for both students and parents. Students need to make their voices heard. I know all of you take FLVS courses for different reasons. Some of you are working to get ahead to free room in your schedule for next year to give you more options... that opportunity would be taken away. Others of you are working hard in the course to earn back a credit that you may have failed previously... that option would be taken away. You may be working in other classes at FLVS such as Spanish, Latin, Personal Fitness, Drivers Education, any elective course... would no longer be
an option should this bill come to pass. That is why I say it directly affects you! Please read on and take action TODAY before its too late. I will be in my office all day. Call me if you need help with contacting your senator or representative.
(Signed by the instructor)

Dear FLVS Parent,
We have just had some alarming news from Tallahassee. The Florida Senate PreK-12 Appropriations Committee has adopted a series of budget and policy changes that will have a substantial negative impact on FLVS and the level of services it currently provides to students, parents, and school districts. The list below describes how such actions will impact you.
The cuts are more drastic than other proposed cuts to other Florida school districts. These cuts would eliminate 7th period course offerings and online elective courses, and they would limit student choice of online courses to the core academic courses.
What does this mean for you and your child if this bill passes?
If you are a student, .
. you will no longer be able to take the elective course that FLVS offers like AP Art History, AP Computer Science, web design, Life Management Skills, personal fitness, and maybe even foreign languages
. you will no longer be able to accelerate by taking additional courses with FLVS after school
. who has failed a required course in either middle or high school, and your public school offers no summer school option, you will not have access to FLVS and will likely to be retained and repeat an entire year of instruction
. you will no longer be able to accelerate via FLVS courses and enter college or the workforce early
. you will have limited access to FLVS courses that are not offered in your traditional public school
. your class size in the brick and mortar school may increase dramatically
If you are a parent, .
. your child will no longer have access to elective courses at FLVS, only core courses will be offered
. whose child is enrolled full-time in a public school, your child will no longer be able to take an additional course at FLVS, eliminating acceleration and grade forgiveness options
. with a child who has failed a required course in either middle or high school, and your public school offers no summer school option, your child will not have access to FLVS and will likely to be retained and repeat an entire year of instruction
. your child will have limited access to FLVS courses that are not offered in your traditional public school
. whose child is taking an FLVS course, his/her class size will increase dramatically
What does it mean for the state of Florida?
. It means that Florida will have to pay more per student. The Tax Watch study in 2007 estimated that FLVS saved taxpayers about $1000 per student each year.
. It means that Florida students will not be able to accelerate or take extra courses to prepare for college or careers.
. It means that Florida may lose its place as the thought leader in online education, and maybe even destroy the nationally #1 ranked on-line program in the country.
. It means that rural districts will be deprived of access to enhanced curricular choices.

FLVS cannot fight this battle by itself! Each of you needs to get involved. Please take the time to call and email your local legislators and tell them NOT to allow this proposed budget to remove the opportunities and choices that FLVS provides to you and your children, not to mention the cost savings to the state of Florida.
Tell your legislators your FLVS story. Has FLVS helped your child in certain ways? What did you think about the relationship your child, your child's FLVS instructor, and you developed? Have you ever spoken to your child's teachers that much?
It is not too late! Florida legislature will listen to you! Pick up the phone right now, and call your local legislators and the members of the four education committees. Tell Florida legislators to not single-out FLVS when making budget reductions.
Find your local legislators (Senator and Representatives) here:
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/representatives.aspx

http://www.flsenate.gov/Legislators/index.cfm?Tab=legislators&CFID=37274819&CFTOKEN=79073907

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Now, please get busy and help us keep this valuable resource. My son would no doubt be frustrated, failing, and I'm certain he'd drop out over it. This Virtual School has provided the opportunity for my son to avoid falling behind in his education. Help me help those who are helping my son.

2 comments:

Heather and Amber said...

Has your virtual school gone to the state capitol? Ours did a couple of weeks ago. We spoke to our senators and told them face to face what makes the Georgia Virtual Academy important for us as parents and students. They had a vote on virtual public schools the next day, so we wanted to make an impact. It was great to see hundreds of students and parents lobbying for the right to a virtual education!

Instylematernity.com said...
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