One Size Fits No One
It’s legislative season in Tallahassee again. We know that March will come every year, yet every year it seems such a shock to us that FLVS must stand ready to defend its district against those who would cut first and consider later.
This battle is recursive—we do it over and over and over again. But, when you are a space-creator, you must also be a space-holder.
This legislative season is exceptionally disruptive, however. In a year where everyone is talking about investing more money into education, the Florida House’s Educational Appropriations Subcommittee has devised an ingenious plan that appears to be a direct assault on the very FLVS mission, while insisting that this is the only “fair” path. While I don’t want anyone mired in statute, or proposed statutory language, it’s important to have a clear understanding of budget conforming bill PCB EDAS 13-01.
What does this bill mean for Florida students and families?
This is anti-choice and anti-opportunity legislation. This bill will block access to FLVS courses for Florida students by reducing full funding for FLVS and Florida school districts through a shared FTE funding model.
What does that mean?
Students and families will not have easy access to the virtual education that school districts rely on FLVS to provide today, because this bill severely limits funding necessary to make this partnership possible.
What is the impact?
- Decreased opportunities for acceleration, course remediation, and credit recovery
- Fewer options for students and parents seeking out alternative learning opportunities
- Decreased flexibility for students with scheduling conflicts
- Decreased access to courses that would not otherwise be available at students’ brick and mortar school
- Less availability of teachers to help students
- Potentially decreased compensation and benefits for Florida teachers
- Reduced high quality instruction
What does this mean for Florida students?
- Students may have to delay graduation due to limited access to FLVS courses.
- Students may not have the advantage of being competitive in the college application process based upon their transcript and availability of courses from their zoned school.
- If needed, students may not be able to recover the credits necessary for graduation due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances.
- Nontraditional students may have limited access to virtual competency-based coursework.
- Students may experience longer course placement wait times.
The PCB EDAS 13-01 bill is myopic, at best. At worst, it’s a direct assault on FLVS and the hard work it took to establish our quality schools. Let’s gather together to speak with a single resonant voice and tell the House of Representatives that Florida students deserve more high quality choices! More opportunity, more choice, more freedom to learn at a pace that works for them.
What can you do to help?
Write or call your House Member today.
This morning (Wednesday, March 27), the Florida House Education Appropriations Committee held a hearing and voted to pass budget conforming bill EDAS 13-01. There were many Florida students, parents, teachers, district administrators, and FLVS supporters showed up at the Capitol to stand in opposition of this bill. The Education Appropriations Committee should be held in high regard for their willingness to listen and to understand how this new funding model impacts Florida Virtual School. While this voting outcome is disappointing, it was not unexpected. Stay tuned for the progression of this bill through the Florida Legislature, any new changes, and their impact on Florida Virtual school. We appreciate the support you all have shown thus far by calling, emailing, and showing up to talk to your legislators. FLVS thanks you all!
Visit the Florida Virtual School Facebook Page for more information and regular updates from FLVS.
Post by Holly Sagues, Former Executive Director of Governmental Affairs & Strategic Solutions
Please do not put our education by choice at risk! I am a virtual school student by choice, doing full time except for a few classes at my area high school and this cut is a concern for my current education plan! I do virtual school because it allows me to work at my own pace while avoiding the extra behavior and environment distractions that reflect in the grades of a regular high school student. I do this virtual style education plan to keep myself focused and keep my grades superlative in preparation for an appointment to a military academy. I urge the Florida House of Representatives NOT TO CUT OUR FUNDING!
How about you email your representative and tell him or her that? 🙂
This morning I was pleased to have the opportunity to testify before a Florida House Committee in opposition to PCB EDAS 13-01 in it’s current form.
Please STAND with FLVS in opposition to the bill unless and until the language is amended.
Please contact your State Representative and ask them to be absolutely clear that they must preserve per class funding for OUR Florida Virtual School classes.
4126 Chelmsford Rd
Tallahassee, FL 32309
I am not the type of student to get the best grades or the highest GPA all the time, it truly hurts that they would even think about cutting our funding. I am sure that I am not the only FLVS student that agrees this is wrong, Florida Virtual was my second chance to have an abbreviated schedule next year. Having that abbreviated schedule would help me to gain more hours at work and save up more money to go to college. Without this abbreviated schedule I will be stuck with the same measly hours I am given. FLVS not only pushes me to do my best to reach my goal for the future, but they let me work as fast or slow as I need, and give me a choice of the environment that I work in. With these cuts the classes I am taking on FLVS right now would not count for me next year. I urge you to please call or write your state representative!
03/27/13 11:32 AM
To the Honorable Erik Fresen;
Regarding the Bill which will cut funding to FLVS.
I have a learning disabled son. It has taken his physical school and I ten years to figure out how he learns best. This young man has gone from barely maintaining less than the 2.0 to graduate with a regular academic diploma – to – maintaining almost a 3.5 via FLVS – virtual school. He only has one more year to go to finish HIGH SCHOOL with a regular academic diploma instead of a CERTIFICATE of ATTENDANCE which means nothing except that he attended high school.
With the laws stating that teachers can only have so many students in their classroom at a time, the schools can not get each student into the class they want, the computer picks – first come first served and there are some students who NEVER get the class they want or need. At least with virtual school, the students get the classes they want. There are stringent guidelines, parent contact once a month (minimum) – the student on the other hand can at anytime between 8 am and 8 pm – email, text, video conference or phone his/her teacher and get a response. The virtual classroom is open 24 hours a day – 365 days a year. Where do you get that in a public or private school? Answer – YOU DON’T. The students must turn in a minimum of 3 lessons a week for each class, if not the parent gets a phone call and an email. Yes, Virtual school puts some of the raising of your child back on you the parent, where it belongs.
Under the McKay scholarship and Freedom of Choice, the parents and kids are by LAW granted their right to choose where the student attends school. Your bill takes this Freedom Choice away from most of them and therefore, you would be breaking the law to suit yourselves and not the will of the people.
Honorable Erik Fresen, you head the committee presenting this Bill, your committee really needs to investigate all the ramifications the passing of this bill would cause. How many Florida students are signed up and currently attending FLVS vs. how many Florida students are actually attending and learning in the public schools? Now look at how many are passing FLVS (students who don’t get a passing grade must redo the assignments with teacher assistance until they do understand it) vs. attending and passing in the public school system (those students who don’t get it drop out – some get their GED’s later some don’t)?
Lets see 24 hour classroom, 365 days a year vs. at most 7 hour a day classroom, 180 days a year. Teacher contact 12 hours during the day via, email, text, phone call or video conference vs. 45 minutes 5 times a week. I really believe you should leave FLVS as it is and work on changing the public school system to meet the needs of our future adults while they are students.
Before I mail this….
Hello Representative Michael Philip Clelland! I take 6 classes with FLVS because I am a homeschooled student. The reason why FLVS is so important to me is I’m not a normal teenager. I used to be in a private school then public school but no matter where I went I couldn’t go at the pace I wanted! I had to wait for the other children to do their work or to get something while the teacher went back through the lesson even though I was ready to move on. My parents work nights and I babysit all the time; I have a very strange schedule… yet when we spend time as a family I have FLVS to thank. Normally I would be gone all day and never get to see them before they had to go to work but now I can get all my work done early so I don’t have to worry about it later. If you cut our funding, I can’t graduate early. I can’t go into the Army at seventeen and fulfill my lifelong dream of being a soldier. A lot of people rely on the flexibility of FLVS including me; sometimes I submit work Saturday nights at 1 am because that’s when I can do it. You must understand FLVS is a great education and normally I would get D’s and F’s in Mathematics and when I got to FLVS I got A’s and B’s. The wide variety of courses helps me greatly because I don’t go to public or private schools that offer courses. Cutting our funding would hurt a lot of students who need FLVS because of their crazy lives and put us all under a lot of stress. Please help us in our case because we need FLVS to stay as flexible and strong as it is now. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read this and please understand our side.
Faithful FLVS full time student,
What do you all think?
Good job 🙂
It’s wrong to cut FLVS funds when so many students are benefiting from this school including me!
Don’t close FLVS please.
It’s a great learning opportunity for lots of kids.
It provides extra learning.
It’s a great and very helpful way to study at home.
Even traditional school kids can use FLVS to help them with extra studies at home.
FLVS helps me cause I can contact teachers when I need help and I can reset assignments to get better grades.
I have the choice between traditional and advanced. I can attend online meetings and research in the FLVS virtual library. It all helps in getting better grades.
I don’t have the distractions of a regular classroom.
I don’t get bullying.
I don’t have peer pressure.
It’s really hard to have good grades and be happy at the same time. The stress and pressure is incredible in regular school.
Please don’t take away flvs!
I just wrote my Florida Representative (Tom Goodson) a letter. Here’s what it said:
Dear Mr. Goodson,
I am a student at Florida Virtual School, and I enjoy being taught by some of the great teachers that work there. However, there is a bill, PCB EDAS 13-01, that would lower funding to FLVS. As a homeschooler, this would greatly limit my educational potential. As a student, I urge you to vote for this bill not to be passed. What I like about FLVS is that I can work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In a regular classroom, you get 6-7 hours a day, 180 days a year. Please do not take this freedom from me and all the other Florida Virtual School students.
Colin Mac Leod