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IN A YEAR OF CHALLENGES, FLORIDA TEACHERS SAY LEGISLATURE MUST ADDRESS FACULTY SHORTAGE 

From Florida Politics
By Jacob Ogles  March 15, 2021

Florida Education Association says schools need support to fully reopen.
As students in Florida begin Spring Break, it’s inspired many a flashback to last school year. With the pandemic in it’s early stages, nobody knew then that the beginning of the vacation would mark the end of in-person learning for some time. READ MORE

 

SCHOOLS WEIGHING WHETHER TO SEAT STUDENTS CLOSER THAN 6 FEET IN REOPENING DEBATE

By Associated Press | March 16, 2021

BOSTON (AP) - U.S. guidelines that say students should be kept 6 feet apart in schools are receiving new scrutiny from federal health experts, state governments and education officials working to return as many children as possible to the classroom. READ MORE

 

Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) Signs Letter to Secretary Cardona Calling for Equitable Support for Charter Schools 

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (March 19, 2021) –The Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) today announced it is joining fifty other education organizations in co-signing a letter from the Association of American Educators to the newly confirmed U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, calling for equitable treatment of the more than 3.3 million students in America’s charter schools.  This time of transition and increasing challenges facing the nation’s education system offers an opportunity for the Secretary and the U.S. Department of Education to take a bold stand to equitably support all students, including those who attend public charter schools, to ensure their access to an excellent education. 

The letter states, “We are committed to preserving the flexibility and autonomy that make public charter schools successful and to holding all schools accountable for student achievement.”  It calls upon the Secretary to “advocate for every student bysupporting high-quality public charter schools and encouraging the growth of the public charter school community.”   

As the letter explains, FCPCS, AAE, and the other co-signers “support public charter schools because of a steadfast commitment to public education, not in spite of it. Through high standards of achievement, greater collaboration with staff, and flexible independence, public charter schools strengthen the public education system, not threaten it.”  The letter also invites Secretary Cardona and his staff to participate in a roundtable discussion with charter school educators, administrators, parents, and students, as well as volunteers, to organize a delegation to the Department to advocate on behalf of public charter schools.  Dialogue between the Department and the hundreds of thousands of educators and millions of families in America’s charter schools is vital to properly serving this growing and important community, especially during a pandemic. 

“Charter schools, through their innovation and commitment to serving many of the nation’s most vulnerable students, have reinforced their vital role as essential to the delivery of high quality public education,” noted Colin Sharkey, executive director of the Association of American Educators, a national professional association serving educators, administrators, professors, and support staff. 

In addition to FCPCS, signatories to the letter include National Association of Charter School Authorizers, National Charter Collaborative, The New Teacher Project, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Democrats for Education Reform, Diverse Charter Schools Coalition, Freedom Coalition for Charter Schools, and charter school associations and advocacy groups in thirty-two states, including California Charter Schools Association, Texas Public Charter Schools Association, Arizona Charter Schools Association, Michigan Association of Public School Academies, Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, Colorado League of Charter Schools, and many more. 

More information, including the full letter text and the list of signatories, is available at aaeteachers.org/cardonaletter

About the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools   

The Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) is the leading charter school membership association in the state, with a membership of nearly 75 percent of all operating charter schools.  Since its inception in 1999, FCPCS has been dedicated to creating a national model of high quality, accredited public charter schools that are student-centered and performance-driven.  FCPCS provides a wide array of technical support, mentoring, training, networking, and purchasing services to its membership, as well as serving as an advocate for all Florida public charter schools.    

 

Mark your calendars to join the National Charter Schools Week celebration, May 9-15, 2021!

This year is an exciting one as it is the 30th anniversary of the first charter school law, which changed the future of public education and student success forever. In our 2021 celebration, we will recognize the next generation of changemakers and highlight the commonalities that unite all supporters of high-quality public education options.

Stay tuned for more on how to celebrate National Charter Schools Week 2021!

 

SENATE PANEL FAVORS PROPOSAL TO CHANGE HOW FLORIDA USES SCHOOL TESTS

From Tampa Bay Times

By Jeffrey S. Solochek  March 2, 2021

An effort to spare Florida students, teachers and schools from the more punitive consequences of the state testing accountability system received bipartisan support from state senators on the first day of the 2021 legislative session. READ MORE

 
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