We Got The Green Light!

drivers-edWhen I was younger, I had all odds stacked against me when it came to learning how to drive. For starters, I have a winter birthday and grew up in the Northern state of Pennsylvania. Those of you familiar with PA can probably already picture it. Teenage me behind the wheel of my Dad’s car (stick-shift no less) surrounded by snow, freezing rain falling from the sky, low visibility, and my route was none other than the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. My poor father…I had some exciting experiences and he had some pretty terrifying ones as my teacher.

I’m fairly certain that he (and everyone else in my family, including the dogs) wished I could go to the Driver Education class at school. This was a job for a professional. Unfortunately for them, the class was based on a lottery system and I was never lucky enough to ‘win’ a spot and my Dad was on his own.

In today’s world, students have access to Driver Ed/Traffic Safety through their schools, FLVS, or independent organizations and their parents don’t have to endure what mine did. They are free to lean on the professionals.

Imagine the thrill parents and students felt when they were able to get “two for one” by taking the course through FLVS which would teach them safe driving practices AND having it count for the online course requirement for graduation!

This was a win-win for everyone. Unfortunately, in 2013 there was a little road-block (no pun intended!) that removed the Driver Ed/Traffic Safety course from meeting the online course requirements for high school students. In an already jam-packed schedule of classes, requirements, and activities, how was a student going to add another course to his/her plate that wouldn’t meet requirements? We heard a lot of complaints (many from Dads just like mine!), but we’re at the mercy of the Florida legislature so young Florida drivers had to find a Plan B.

During the 2014 legislative session, we were thrilled for parents and students when this restriction was lifted during the very last week! We anxiously waited a grueling few weeks for the bill to make it to the Governor’s desk. SB 850 was finally presented on June 13 and officially became law on June 20, 2014. To sum it up, the Florida Legislature gave the green light on Driver Ed meeting the online course requirement again! The best part? Students who took the online FLVS Driver Ed/Traffic Safety course (course code 3393) in school year 2013-14 can use it to fulfill the online course requirement!

So, for all those students tasked with fitting multiple courses and classes into their schedules, things just got a little bit easier! As my Dad would say, “you won!” We owe a huge thanks to our Florida legislature and the Governor for this. Without them, this would not be possible. Their ‘drive’ and passion for education and offering students a choice is truly admirable.

Learn more about the Driver Education/Traffic Safety at FLVS here.

Post by Holly Sagues, Former Executive Director of Governmental Affairs & Strategic Solutions

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