2017 Florida Legislative Agenda is Topic of Discussion at FCPCS Summit for District and Charter School Collaboration

Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) Brings Together Political Leaders and Representatives from Florida School Districts and Charter Schools for Day-long Workshop

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – For the fourth consecutive year, the Florida Consortium of Public and Charter Schools (FCPCS) brought together members of the Florida Legislature and leaders from school districts and charter schools at the recent 2016 FCPCS Summit for District and Charter School Collaboration, where more than 100 educators and political leaders met in a day-long workshop to begin crafting an agenda for the 2017 session of the Florida Legislature.

Among the attendees were Florida State Representatives Michael Bileco, (R-Miami), Manny Diaz Jr., (R-Hialeah) and Shevrin Jones (D-West Park), all of whom serve on various education committees of the Florida House of Representatives, as well as Broward Superintendent of Schools Robert Runcie. Summit participants worked in a roundtable format at the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel.

Topics for discussion ranged from teacher certification requirements and the current teacher shortage, to promotion criteria for students, to streamlining the data collection process for both district and charter schools, to the state’s Exceptional Student Education (ESE) guaranteed allocation, to federal funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and more. Summit discussion was made available live online and recorded for future reference.

Superintendent Runcie applauded the work of the Summit, noting, “It presents an opportunity for districts and charter schools to come together. Our success is dependent on our ability to work together.”

“It’s a rare occasion that we get both sides in the same room,” said Rep. Diaz. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the kids. If you can get the sides together and come up with a recommendation that comes from the industry, then we can take what’s brought to us and make it work.”

Reiterated Rep. Bileco, “The dialog and the constructive feedback often gets lost up there (in Tallahassee). If it comes from the various stakeholders, it makes it a whole lot easier.”

Rep. Jones focused on the transition of students from school to work, asking, “How do we move students into the workforce?” He added, “This is about children. This is about making sure they are assets and not liabilities.”

“School districts and charter schools have similar goals and challenges,” said FCPCS President Robert Haag. “We both want to provide a high quality education to the students and families we serve and to ensure students are making yearly academic progress. It makes sense to maintain an open dialog for working together."

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.