Current Actions

  • You Did It! A Nurse in Every School

    You advocated for funding for a nurse in every Pinellas County Public School and they listened! This week the Pinellas Board of County Commissioners voted to provide funding for a school nurse in every public school. The Board acknowledged that the state should pay the costs but agreed to fund the program while still pushing the state to do more.The proposal will slightly increase the millage with proceeds going to the Department of Health. The money would help fund a portion of registered nurse and licensed practical nurse positions. Currently, the Department of Health only funds 12 nurses that rotate between schools. Schools without a nurse have to call 911 which puts a drain on county resources. Thanks to your voice- schools can provide this valuable service to all children.

    Please contact the Commissioners below and thank them for their vote. Tell them they did the right thing for the children of Pinellas County. Thank you for your support of the public school students in Pinellas County.

    Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and stay informed. To access the Board of County Commissioners' web page, click here. For more information about the vote and proposal, click here.

    Use the easy tool below to contact your Pinellas County Commissioners. Thank them for supporting children and voting for school nurses at every school. Share this page with your friends and spread the word.

  • Contact your state legislator

    Look up your state representative and senator below. Call them and tell them that you want them to fix the bad policies created in House Bill 7069 during the 2017 Session. Schedule an appointment to meet with them and bring a friend when you go.

  • A Nurse in Every School

    There is a proposal before the Pinellas Board of County Commissioners that would provide funding for a school nurse in every public school. This proposal involves a slight millage increase with proceeds going to the Department of Health and would require a majority vote by the Board to pass. The money would help fund a portion of 37 registered nurse positions and 124 licensed practical nurse positions. Currently, the Department of Health only funds 12 nurses that rotate between schools. Schools without a nurse have to call 911 which puts a drain on county resources.

    If you support this proposal as a parent and taxpayer, you are encouraged to contact the Commissioners and express your support for this millage increase. Thank you for your support of the public school students in Pinellas County.

    We will continue to provide information on this issue as we learn more. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and stay informed. To access the Board of County Commissioners' web page, click here. For more information about the proposal, click here.

    The Commission meets again on August 3rd to discuss this proposal. Use the easy tool below to contact your Pinellas County Commissioners. Give them your thoughts on school nurses at every school. Share this page with your friends and spread the word.

  • Hillsborough Budget Feedback

    We’ve received several calls and questions about the Hillsborough County Public Schools' budget. We attended the school board budget workshop in order to have a better understanding of this important issue and blogged about it, as well. Here's what we learned:

    • Shielding students from negative impacts of budget cuts was a shared priority of district leaders.
    • Although payroll is one of the largest portions of the budget, leaders are concerned about cuts to classroom or essential employees.
    • Capital expenditures and maintainance of school faciities is a big concern and a negative impact will be felt now that charter schools are siphoning those precious dollars away from district schools.

    Superintendent Eakins and school board members have asked for your input on these issues. Public schools belong to the public. In other words, your voice must be a very important part of this process.

    If you have thoughts, opinions, comments, suggestions and/or solutions regarding the district budget, the school board wants to hear from you. Please use the form below to send an email to the entire Hillsborough County School Board. It is imperative that our collective voices are heard as changes and cost saving measures are considered.

    Use the easy tool below to contact the elected school board members. Give them your feedback on the school district budget. Share this page with your friends and spread the word.

    We will continue to provide information on this issue as we learn more. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and stay informed.

  • Contact your state legislator

    Look up your state representative and senator below. Call them and tell them that you want them to fix the bad policies created in House Bill 7069 during the 2017 Session. Schedule an appointment to meet with them and bring a friend when you go.

  • Kids Need Your Voice

    Governor Scott signed the controversial House Bill 7069 into law despite an overwhelming outcry from public education stakeholders and the public.

    Children need your voice now more than ever. The new law has components that will damage our local public schools--  vital programs for the neediest children will be cut, precious capital dollars from the state will improve private property leased by charters instead of repairing and improving tax payer owned assets, and $140 million will be given to unproven, out-of-state charter operators. 

    Use the tool below to easily send a message to Governor Scott and your Representative and Senator. Tell them Florida's students and their public education are important to our economy and a priority. Tell them they must fix this. 

    -Email using your own words (or at least your own subject line) and tell them to make kids a priority.

  • Kids Need Your Voice

    Thanks to you, Governor Scott called the Florida Legislature back for a special session and demanded that education funding be increased by $100 per pupil!!

    However, Children need your voice now more than ever. The Governor hasn't decided the fate of House Bill 7069. If passed, this bill will damage our local public schools--  vital programs for the neediest children will be cut, precious capital dollars from the state will improve private property leased by charters instead of repairing and improving tax payer owned assets, and $200 million will be given to unproven, out-of-state charter operators. 

    Use the tool below to easily send a message to Governor Scott. Tell him to VETO the conforming bill (HB 7069). Tell him to keep his Constitutional oath and make children and their public schools a priority.

    -Call and leave a message asking the governor to veto the conforming bill.

    -Email using your own words (or at least your own subject line) and tell him to veto this bad bill.

  • Fund public schools

    URGENT: Florida's kids need your help! Tallahassee politicians' new budget will devastate public schools. Valuable programs, vital staff and essential projects will be cut. Kids need your voice today. 

    The 2017 Legislative Session ends Monday. There is still time to act. Children need your voice now more than ever.

    Use the tool below to easily send a message to your Representative and Senator. Urge them to keep their Constitutional oath and make children and their public schools a priority.

  • Fund public schools

    URGENT: Florida's kids need your help! Tallahassee politicians' new budget will devastate public schools. Valuable programs, vital staff and essential projects will be cut. Kids need your voice today. 

    The 2017 Legislative Session ends Monday. There is still time to act. Children need your voice now more than ever.

    Use the tool below to easily send a message to your Representative and Senator. Urge them to keep their Constitutional oath and make children and their public schools a priority.

  • Hillsborough schools' proposal to change school start/dismissal times

    NOTICE: The School Board will be voting on new bell schedules at the October 17th meeting. Any changes will go into effect for the 2018-2019 school year.

    We’ve received several calls and questions about the proposal to change school start and dismissal times in Hillsborough County Public Schools. We reached out to the district for clarification on this important issue. Here's what we learned:

    • Several factors including chronically late buses, transportation costs and students' desire to have school-life balance led district staff to consider changes to school start and dismissal times.
    • Proposals were developed by staff for presentation to the Hillsborough County School Board.
    • Superintendent Eakins does not want to finalize the plan without first seeking creative input and suggestions from the community.

    In other words, your voice must be a very important part of this process. If you have thoughts, opinions, comments, suggestions and/or solutions regarding school start and dismissal times for elementary, K-8, magnet, middle, and high schools, the superintendent wants to hear from you. Please use the form below to send an email to Hillsborough County Public Schools. It is imperative that our collective voices are heard before any changes are considered.

    UPDATE:  They have created an online survey so you can give your opinions on school bell times. Click here for the survey in English and Spanish.

    In addition, they will host four public meetings so you can ask question of district staff, take the survey, and offer your suggestions. The remaining meetings are:

    We will continue to provide information on this issue as we learn more. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and stay informed.

    Enter your address below to use our easy tool to contact the district. Give them your feedback on school start and dismissal times for elementary, K-8, magnet, middle and high schools. Share this page with your friends and spread the word.

  • Say No to deceptive testing bill

    Use the easy tool below to contact legislators. Tell them to say no to the deceptive testing bill titled "Fewer, Better Tests." Florida's students need real testing reductions not bad policy with a clever title.

    Education reform lobbyists introduced a bill called the "Fewer, Better Test" bill. This bill does not reduce the number of tests required for students and it certainly doesn't improve Florida's over-emphasis on testing and the use of test scores. In fact, it uses language like "proficiency" to set many students up for failure on the FSA. Read the bill here

    On Monday, Senators temporarily postponed this bill after several amendments were proposed that looked remarkably like Senator Montford's testing bill- SB 964. Read more about it here

    Call then email the senators on the Senate Education Committee. Urge them to vote no for the deceptive Senate Bill 926.  (Please edit the sample email below and make it your own.)

  • Stop making backroom deals to pass bad bills

    A bill being negotiated in backrooms of Tallahassee would send $200 million to charter schools to turnaround under-performing schools in primarily low income neighborhoods. The proposed charters have no record of success at scale anywhere. 

    The bill moved swiftly through an abbreviated committee process and will likely be determined by a few key decision makers away from public scrutiny or public debate. This has angered many stakeholders. Parent and community groups including the Alliance for Public Schools, Florida PTA and League of Women Voters are alarmed that millions of dollars of taxpayer money will be sent to private charters with no guarantee of success. Read the bill here.

    Take a moment to call and email the legislators on the Conference Committee. Tell them Florida's children deserve proven educational strategies that provide positive outcomes not millions of taxpayer dollars wasted on speculative schemes. Use the sample email provided or edit it to make it your own.

  • I support a reduction in testing

    Florida's children deserve relief from high stakes testing. Use the easy tool below to contact your legislators. Tell them Florida's students should spend more time learning and less time testing. Tell them to support the bipartisan effort to roll back excessive testing in Florida's public schools.

    A bipartisan group of senators has sponsored a bill to reduce the number and the use of testing in Florida's public schools. In addition, the bill (SB 926) eliminates many end of course exams and removes the use of student test scores in teacher evaluation formulas. The bill would:

    • Eliminate 4 state EOC’s: Geometry, Civics, US History and Algebra II state exams would be eliminated. 
    • Improve Teacher Evaluations: The required use of VAM (using test scores in teacher evaluations) would be eliminated.
    • Provide Paper Pencil Option: Districts could use non-electronic tests.
    • Allow for instructional control: The word “consecutive” would be removed from the mandated 90 consecutive minutes reading block allowing teachers flexibility in planning their instruction time.
    • Eliminate harmful "proficiency" language: A policy that would create a large number of D and F schools across Florida found in one of the House bills has been eliminated from SB 926.

    At long last, this bill attempts to bring some common sense to the so-called "accountability system" and provides some relief to students, teachers and public schools. For a recap of the proposals, read this article from the Tampa Bay Times.

    UPDATE: This week the House Education Committee passed their version of the testing bill but it doesn't give children relief from testing. We need to urge our elected officials to adopt the Senate version (SB 926) which reduces testing for Florida's children.

    With one click- send a message to the House Education Committee, your representative and senator. Urge them to vote to reduce excessive testing of our students.  (Please edit the sample email below to make it your own.)

  • Don't rob public schools to pay private charters

     

    Florida's public schools were built with hard earned taxpayer dollars. We, the public, own those valuable resources. In addition, we have oversight through our elected officials. Public schools are a public good. 

    Charter schools are private schools funded with public tax dollars. They are housed in privately owned buildings that are rented by charter schools.

    Currently, public schools already have to share dollars budgeted for capital improvements with charter schools. Now, there is an effort underway to take even more of those precious tax dollars from public schools for construction or repairs on privately owned buildings housing charter schools. These buildings are not owned by the taxpayers and we will never see a return on that investment.

    Senate Bill 376 has passed two committees and will be heard on Thursday, April 6th in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Read the bill here.

    Take a moment to call and email the senators on the Appropriations Committee. Tell them to stop robbing citizen owned public schools to fund construction and improvements on privately owned properties.

    We have provided a sample email below. We ask that you edit it and make it your own.

  • Kids Need Recess

    Unstructured play for all students in kindergarten through 5th grade is an Alliance for Public Schools' Community Legislative Priority. Unfortunately, recess has been eliminated from many school days in the push for more rigorous academics. Parents, teachers and concerned community members across Florida expressed a desire to see recess restored to all schools. The "Public School Recess Bill" by Senator Flores (R) passed unanimously in all three of its committee hearings. Since the House did not pass the same version, Senator Flores added the recess bill to the testing bill in order for it to have a chance.

    The House must agree to accept Senate Bill 926 which would reduce excessive testing and add recess for Florida's kids. Read the bill here. 

    Call and email your representative and Speaker of the House Corcoran. Tell them Florida's children in kindergarten through 5th grade need unstructured time to play and less high stakes testing. Ask them to adopt the wording in Senate Bill 926.
  • I support public schools
    Now, more than ever, children, teachers and public schools need your voice and your advocacy. Politicians with little to no experience with public schools or education policy make decisions every day that impact children across the state and the country. Their decisions affect funding, testing policies, grade retention, salaries, graduation requirements and much more. 
    It is up to us to speak up for students, their teachers and their schools. Take a moment to call your elected officials and send them an email. Tell them to make students and their pub

    Enter the requested information below to be connected to your legislators. Edit the sample email to create your own. Speak from the heart and tell them why public schools matter. Let them know you expect them to support ALL children by supporting their public schools.

  • Stop the Shenanigans

    In the eleventh hour, Tallahassee politicians are working on back room deals to turn their bad policies into state law. Senator Gaetz filed over 50 pages of amendments to a 3 page bill in advance of the final committee stop on Thursday. These new bills would do everything from give your tax dollars to construct and repair privately owned charter school buildings to continue the ridiculous teacher bonus based on their old SAT scores.

    These bills must be killed. Back room deals that only serve politicians hurt children, teachers and their public schools. 

    Send a quick email to the members of the Florida Senate. Remind them that we won't tolerate last minute shenanigans that hurt students and teachers.

  • Veto the Budget! Kids Deserve Better

    Governor Scott repeatedly called for "historic funding" for education this year. At the beginning of the 2016 Legislative Session, things looked promising for students as the House and Senate each proposed record high funding, as well. However, on Friday, Florida politicians passed a devastating education budget. Factoring for inflation, the per pupil funding falls short of the high water mark set in 2007, over 9 years ago! Our kids deserve better than that.

    Budgets are a list of priorities. Florida's children and their schools should be our highest priority. 

    Take a moment to call or email Governor Scott. Tell him Florida students deserve to be our highest priority. Ask him to veto the budget and make Florida's politicians do the right thing for children.

    Use the email sample provided or- even better- edit it and create your own.

  • Recess for All

    Unstructured play for all students in kindergarten through 5th grade is an Alliance for Public Schools' 2016 Community Legislative Priority. Unfortunately, recess has been eliminated from many school days in the push for more rigorous academics. Parents, teachers and concerned community members across Florida expressed a desire to see recess restored to all schools. The "Public School Recess Bill" HB 833 passed the House with two votes shy of a unanimous vote. 

    Unfortunately, the senate bill has not been heard in committee, yet.

    Take a moment to send Senators Gardiner and Simmons an email or give them a call. Ask them to waive the rule requiring a committee vote and send the bill directly to the Senate for a full vote.

    Click "Select this recipient" below. Use the email sample provided or edit it to create your own.