TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Feb. 28, 2012 -
Senator Stephen Wise (R-Jacksonville) and Representative Erik Fresen (R-Miami) last Wednesday joined Governor Rick Scott, fellow lawmakers, parents and teachers in support of expanding school choice and access to quality education to all of Florida’s students.
“We had a great turnout, and I am grateful to Governor Scott, my fellow colleagues in the Legislature and all the parents and supporters who showed up in Tallahassee,” said Senator Wise. “All politics aside, this issue is about our children and the type and quality of education that we can offer them. They deserve each and every opportunity we can provide for them to find the academic model that can meet their unique needs.”
“This is why I have proposed legislation, currently and in the past, to make sure all of our students are treated fairly,” added Senator Wise. “My current proposal to grant our public charter school students with more dollars, and allow for them to have equal opportunities, would ensure parents that this is a viable option for their children’s education and that they will be treated fairly.”
Senate Bill 1852, sponsored by Senator Wise, would establish equal funding and equal opportunities for Florida’s public charter school students by requiring traditional school districts to share local millage, proportionally and on a per-student basis, for public charter schools to use to build more schools. Further, Senate Bill 1852 would help ensure that taxpayer dollars that go to the education system are being used more efficiently by authorizing high-performing (A or B) schools to replicate up to three new schools per year for public charter school students.
Among the legislators honored during last week’s School Choice Rally was Representative Erik Fresen, who received a Golden Apple Award from the National Coalition for Public School Options for his constant dedication and support of providing more school choice to Florida’s parents and students.
“We were thrilled to have so many of our colleagues and advocates join us in our call to eliminate existing barriers for school choice and advocate for equitable funding for all of our students,” said Representative Fresen. “It is imperative that we propose and pass legislation this year that will equip Florida’s public, public charter and virtual schools with equitable and proper funding to counter the loss of dollars that has negatively affected the viability of some of our schools as a school choice for parents and students.”
“We have to work to create a framework that ensures more choices for students and parents,” added Representative Fresen. “Not every child can learn or be inspired to achieve the same way, and we owe it to our kids to give them the options and the right tools to help them succeed.”
In attendance at School Choice Day to show their support for expanding school choice in Florida were Governor Rick Scott, Senator John Thrasher, Former Senator Al Lawson, Representative Kelli Stargel, Representative Janet Adkins and Representative Erik Fresen. Also in attendance were Florida Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson, President and CEO of the Florida Charter School Alliance Cheri Shannon, Florida Chapter President of the National Coalition for Public Schools Jeaneen Boyas and President and CEO of Associated Industries of Florida Tom Feeney.