FLVS Day at the Capitol
If you ask me, there is nothing like the rush of sharing with our state legislators the unique ways FLVS serves Florida students, and it’s even better when students themselves get to share their stories.
On April 5, 2017, that’s exactly what happened in Tallahassee.
Florida Virtual School executives, board members, staff, parents, and students walked into the state Capitol with a mission.
It was FLVS Day at the Capitol and we wanted our state Senators and Representatives to know how important access to virtual education is for students of all ages. Right now, students in grades 2-5 wishing to take FLVS courses on a part-time basis have to meet a list of eligibility requirements, with the most problematic being that they must have been enrolled in a Florida public school the entire year prior.
House Bill 833 and Senate Bills 868 and 692 remove those eligibility requirements.
Passing these bills means FLVS Flex Elementary students can continue their education with FLVS, allowing them to learn from the hospital, abroad, and from home without restriction.
FLVS Elementary students helped us prepare for the day by drawing pictures and writing letters to legislators that were compiled into a booklet and distributed – and autographed by the students in attendance! FLVS parents and students shared their stories openly and honestly about why FLVS is the right choice for them, and our legislators loved meeting our little ones. In many of the meetings, it wasn’t a rare scene to see the students sitting behind the legislator’s desks, giving high fives, smiling for photos, and even showing off some pretty cool dance moves (and successfully getting a few legislators to join in). One of the first graders in attendance was overheard telling his mom that it was “the best day ever,” and I couldn’t agree more.
The day was a success, but it wasn’t all business! After many meetings, the FLVS gang was invited to visit and take a tour of the Governor’s mansion! The group loved learning about the mansion’s history and were in awe of its beauty and size.
That same week, House Bill 833 passed its final committee in the House and will be headed to the House floor. In addition, Senate Bill 868 passed its first committee in the Senate, and is headed to its second tomorrow, April 18. Unanimous support all the way around so far!
As a bonus to the day: FLVS was recognized on both the Senate and House Floor, and a resolution celebrating the upcoming 20th anniversary of FLVS was read. Fingers crossed that we will start off our 20th year with access to virtual education for all students!
Post by Stefanie Steele, FLVS Governmental Affairs Administrator