Feb. 18 CCPS Policy Review 4:00 March 2 CCPS Board 4:00 April 14 CCPS Board 4:00 Everglades City May 12 CCPS Board 4:00 May 19 CCPS Budget Workshop June 9 CCPS Board 4:00 July 28 CCPS Meeting 4:00 Budget Hearing 5:05 Aug. 11 CCPS Board 4:00
All meetings are held in the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Administration Building unless noted
E-MAIL ADDRESSES FOR THE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS AND THE SUPERINTENDENT
- Please take the time to email the school board members, Mr. Fishbane and Dr. Patton.
- email@example.com, WestbeJo@collierschools.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
EVERY VOTE COUNTS
Make sure that your registration in Collier County is correct. If you want a Vote-by-Mail (absentee) Ballot sent to your home, contact:
Collier County Supervisor of Elections Office 3750 Enterprise Ave., Naples, FL 34104 239-252-8683 or www.colliervotes.com
LEGISLATIVE CONTACTS select the name to send an email
YOU DON'T HAVE TO JOIN TO GET ON OUR MAILING LIST! JUST EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org AND ASK TO BE ADDED TO THE LIST.
THE COALITION FOR
QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION
The Coalition is a diverse and growing group of residents committed to protecting and supporting quality public education in Collier County.
What are our concerns? We believe that the functioning of the School Board, staff and administration is being impeded by politically and ideologically motivated groups pursuing political agendas detrimental to our public schools. This adversely impacts our District's ability to follow state mandates, educational standards, accountability and teacher autonomy in the classroom.
We strongly oppose efforts to: censor educational materials and content, divert funds to sectarian schools, advocate any religious belief and shift funding away from public schools under the pretense of "school choice".
What we believe: Public education in America is a national treasure that MUST be strengthened; NOT weakened or destroyed!
Our tasks are: to increase public awareness of the important programs and achievements in our Collier County Public Schools (CCPS); to engage others to constructively support our schools; to assure that our schools remain accredited for the economic growth and success of our community.
The Coalition for Quality PublicEducation (C4QPE) is a 501(c)(3) corporation. Contributions are tax deductible.
Voucher Schools Discriminate
The voucher programs in the state of Florida send over $1 billion worth of public money to private, mostly religious schools that have no accountability. The Orlando Sentinel (1) recently found at least 156 Christian schools with anti-gay views educated than 20,800 students with voucher scholarships. More than 80 of those schools had blatant discrimination policies that deny admission to gay children, expel or discipline students who reveal that they are gay, and refuse to educate children of LGBTQ parents. One school that received $371,000 in state voucher money told a mother, a firefighter married to a US Air Force veteran, that her children were not welcome because the married couple were two females.
Trinity Christian Academy, in Deland, received more than $1 million last year in vouchers; yet it’s handbook indicates that a student can be expelled for admitting to be gay.
Some voucher schools do an excellent job, welcoming all children regardless of faith, ethnicity, origin, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. They not only welcome LGBTQ students but teach that discrimination against anyone is wrong.
But the facts are the facts. Some of the major corporations that redirect their tax obligations to vouchers are starting to rethink their involvement. Rosen Resorts, Fifth Third Bank, and Wells Fargo have ended their contributions. A Wells Fargo spokesperson stated: “ . . . we oppose discrimination of any kind”. I tend to think that most of the contributors would feel the same way if they knew the facts!
Bills have been filed in the Florida Senate (S-56 Rouson) and Florida House (HB45 Eskamani) that would prohibit private schools that deny enrollment to students based on “race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity” from participating in the voucher program. I spoke to all three members of the Collier County legislative delegation and two representatives told me that they would NOT support this bill.
What do we do?
- Write our legislators that schools that receive PUBLIC funds should NEVER discriminate against any students based or sexual orientation or identity or any other reason.
- Write to the companies that contribute to the voucher programs and educate them about the degree of discrimination.
- Inform our school boards, and city and county officials of these discriminatory practices within the voucher program.
LIST OF COMPANIES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO VOUCHERS IN FLORIDA
ABC Fine Wine & Spirits
ACE Group Insurance
American Income Life
American Integrity Insurance
Ark Royal Insurance
Ascendant Commercian Insurance
ATIC (Americans Traditions Insurance)
BAC Florida Bank
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
City Beverages Budweiser
Center State Bank
Cigar City Brewing
FineMark National Bank
Florida Doctors Insurance
Farm Bureau Insurance
Florida Public Utilities
Florida Specialty Insurance
Global Imaging Systems
Gold Coast Beverages
Ground Works Solutions
Guardian Life Insurance
Kingsway Amigo Insurance
Jewelers Mutual Insurance
KAR Auction Services
Liberty National Life
Lincoln Benefit Life
Mutual of Omaha Bank
Peace River Distributing
Philadelphia Insurance Companies
Republic National Distributing
Security First Insurance
Southern Oak Insurance
Southern Eage Distributing
Southern Glazers Wine and Spirits
The Main Street America Group
Tower Hill Insurance
Tractor Supply Company
US Century Bank
Universal North America
Zeno Office Solutions
UPDATE ON SCHOOL ISSUES
January 19, 2020
SCOTUS and Montana School Vouchers
On Wednesday, SCOTUS will hear arguments about whether state funds can be used to finance vouchers at religious schools. Montana, like 37 other states including Florida, has a “No Aid Clause” that says state funds can not be used for religious purposes. The Montana legislature passed a voucher program and the Montana Supreme Court, citing the “No Aid Clause”, declared it unconstitutional (in Montana). The parents, with monetary assistance from the religious right, petitioned SCOTUS to hear the case. Because of SCOTUS’ recent decisions and the Trump Administration’s support for bringing religion back into the schools, the decision, due in June, might have grave consequences. We will update you on the arguments.
School Lunch Guidelines Rollback
The Trump Administration has proposed dismantling Obama’s school nutrition guidelines for more vegetables and fruit for one that would allow more pizza and fries. While the administration cited more flexibility, nutritionists called it a “shameless capitulation to lobbyists at the expense of American children.” The school lunch program serves about 30 million students, mostly from low income homes.
New Trump Guidelines for Religion in Public Schools
On January 16 (religious Freedom Day) the Trump Administration issued new federal guidelines for prayer and religious expression in schools that will certainly lead to greater discrimination against LGBTQ and minority students. The guidelines will allow: students to engage in unwanted proselytization and religious harassment; students to deliver prayers at the beginning of all official school sponsored activities including morning announcements, football games, graduations and assemblies; school employees to participate in student-led activities; some school sponsored prayer; students to express their religious beliefs in all school assignments; teachers to use the Bible to teach about religion.
These are a clear violation of separation of church and state and encourages activities that SCOTUS has already ruled unconstitutional. (AU release).
SCOTUS and Tax Credit Scholarships
The Supreme Court of the US has agreed to hear Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. Montana is one of 39 states that has a “no aid clause” in it’s constitution that forbids using public funds for religious purposes. In 2015, the Montana legislature passed a Tax Credit Scholarship program similar to the one in Florida. However, because of the “no aid clause”, the Montana Department of Revenue refused to allow vouchers to be used at private religious schools (90% of Montana’s private schools are religious).
A Virginia-based voucher proponent sued. The Montana Supreme Court concluded that the Tax Credit Scholarship program violated the “no aid clause” of the Montana constitution and was unconstitutional (in Montana). The case was appealed to the SCOTUS and on June 28, it agreed to hear the case during the 2019-2020 session. The decision is expected next June.
What are the implications for Florida? It is troubling that SCOTUS accepted this case. It signals an intrusion by the Fed on a clearly state issue (education) and a decision in support of the vouchers attacks the very fiber of Church-State separation.
Spring 2019 Legislative Session
*New voucher program with funds taken from the general state revenue. (Lawsuits anticipated.)
WE OPPOSE VOUCHERS THAT SUPPORT RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS IN VIOLATION OF THE FLORIDA CONSTITUTION AND THOSE THAT SUPPORT PRIVATE SCHOOLS WITH NO OVERSIGHT.
*Additional $783 million for K-12 public education.$330 million for construction, repairs and maintenance ($158 million of that to charter schools).
WE SUPPORT ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION AND INCREASED TEACHER SALARIES. WE OPPOSE USING PUBLIC FUNDS TO FINANCE PRIVATELY-OWNED CHARTER SCHOOL BUILDINGS.
*District tax referenda dollars must be shared with charter schools. (Lawsuits anticipated)
WE OPPOSE REDUCTION OF HOME RULE.
*Expanded Guardian program allows teachers to carry guns (requires local district approval).
WE OPPOSE ARMING TEACHERS.
Picture from C4QPE Annual Meeting on December 3.
2020 c4qpe LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
Public School Funding
- Increase the Base Student Allocation and State Categorical Programs by at least 5% annually so that Florida achieves a ranking of at least #20 nationwide in PreK-12 educational funding by 2025.
- Prohibit any new unfunded mandates for public schools.
- Eliminate the transfer of corporate tax revenues to private schools at the expense of public schools.
Recruitment and Retention of Quality Educators
- Increase the Base Student Allocation (BSA) until Florida ranks at least #20 in national average teacher and educational support personnel salaries by 2025.
- Return to Professional Services Contracts to provide employee security.
- Transfer bonus program funds to the Base Student Allocation.
- Improve oversight of charter schools by the elected county school board.
- Deny petitions for new, renewed, or materially revised charter schools operated or managed by for-profit companies.
- Limit approval of new charter applications to those that address specific academic or space needs not met by the local school district.
- Require that a charter school, if closed, return all remaining public funds, and materials and capital investments purchased with taxpayer funds.
- Allow county public school boards, on a district-wide basis, to waive the same laws, regulations and rules that charter schools can waive.
- Require Hope Charter Schools to accept and transport any students previously enrolled in the school(s) they replaced.
Accountability for all state educational funds
- Hold all schools that receive state funding to the same standards and testing as public schools.
- Eliminate all programs that send state funds to religious schools.
Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK)
- Fund pilot programs of full-day VPK in high need areas.
- Implement legislation for the Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK) similar to HB 1091 enacted in 2018 which currently impacts the School Readiness (SR) Program.
- Use assessment only for the purposes for which they were designed. Quality child development assessments should be used to inform instruction. They are not valid to determine program quality.
Support one topic/one bill requirement for the legislature.
2020 Legislative Agenda/Coalition for Quality Public Education/Approved September 4, 2019
What will our children be taught?
Posted on December 10, 2018 by Sue Legg
Education Week posted an article describing the implications for changes in the Florida science curriculum based on at least two of the education taskforce members views…Keith Flaugh and Erika Donalds from Collier County, Florida. Jeff Sawchuk, he author of the article: Coming Soon to Florida: More Challenges to District’s Science Curricula bases his concern on a law based in 2017 to allow independent challenges to district text book selection by not only parents but any citizen.
As a member of Citizens Alliance, Flaugh submitted dozens of challenges to text books last year. He was quoted as saying ‘”Books that treat evolution as a proven science are discriminating and bully children and their families against their religious beliefs”.
Citizens Alliance trains local protestors to challenge textbooks. Last year challenges were submitted in Collier, Martin and Nassau counties. The local school boards voted 3/2 to retain the books. (This split vote is one example why these Christian advocacy groups are targeting school board elections.) Moreover, Governor DeSantis has already announced that the task force will conduct a curriculum review of the Florida State Curriculum Standards.
STATE LEGISLATURE REQUIRES
"IN GOD WE TRUST"
DISPLAYED IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, INCREASES VOUCHER SCHEMES TO $1 BILLION, ADDS HOPE (BULLYING) SCHEME.
SEE BILL 7055
Court Eliminates Amendment 8
WHY WE OPPOSE
THE AMENDMENT 8
THE PROPOSAL COMBINES THREE SEPARATE PROPOSALS INTO ONE. IT USES CIVICS EDUCATION AND TERM LIMITS FOR SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS TO HIDE THE CHANGE IN THE RELATIONSHIP OF ELECTED SCHOOL BOARDS TO CHARTER SCHOOLS IN THEIR DISTRICTS. THIS IS CALLED "LOGROLLING"
The Constitution Revision Commission
P 6003: School Board Term Limits and Duties; Public Schools
School Board Term Limits and Duties; Public Schools; A proposal to amend Section 4 of Article IX and create a new section in Article XII of the State Constitution to establish a limitation on the period for which a person may be elected as a member of a district school board; to specify which schools are operated, controlled, and supervised by a school board; and to create a new section in Article IX of the State Constitution to require the Legislature to provide for the promotion of civic literacy in public education.
The C4QPE Board Unanimously voted to support the Resource Officers Program in our Collier Schools and rejected the arming of teachers.
Victory For Florida’s Church-State Separation Advocates: State Constitution’s Religious Freedom Provision Remains Intact
Dr. Leslie Ricciardelli speaks about College and Career Readiness.
Ms. Yoland Flores talks about Career Readiness from a Technical School paradigm.
Sandy Parker speaks about CCPS
Kathy Curatolo and Stephanie Lucarelli describe their life on the school board.
Our panel from the January 23 program
Barbara Melvin, Vice President, Collier County NAACP
Kevin Saba, Administrative Director of School Operations, CCPS
Patrick Woods, Assistant Superintendent of Operations, CCPS
© Copyright The Coalition for Quality Public Education