I googled McKay Scholarship News last week. The top 3 headlines:
- “Millions spent on schools with almost zero accountability…”
- Florida Voucher Programs Bring Choices, not Guarantees…
- McKay scholarship program sparks a cottage industry of fraud and….”
This is what our legislators read also and it makes them react. “Sen. David Simmons, a Republican member of the education committee, said he is considering legislation to enact reforms.” (Oct 26, 2017)
Reform is not a bad thing, but reform based on misleading reports could be devastating for McKay Scholarship recipients and the schools that serve them.
The Coalition of McKay Scholarship Schools needs you and your parents to share the facts with your legislators BEFORE THANKSGIVING.
Why the urgency? 49 of the 120 (40%) representatives are first or second year legislators. Our legislators are surrounded by thousands of issues and they simply can’t be experts on all of them. Their main source of information about the McKay Scholarship Program may be what they google or read in the paper.
The Coalition is hearing rumblings from legislators of “Why aren't all schools that take the scholarship accredited?” “Why don’t these schools have accredited teachers?” Why aren’t their students taking the FSA?”
As you well know, these are not good accountability measures and would disrupt the private school’s ability to choose the programs and curriculums that best fit their students’ needs. Unfortunately, they sound reasonable to legislators that don’t have the historic background of why these measures were not required in the McKay Scholarship Program.
How will our legislators know why the "McKay Scholarship standards” were determined by the legislature IF NO ONE EDUCATES THEM?
How will they know that when The McKay Scholarship was established in 1999, and further accountability legislation was crafted in 2006, the legislators understood that our students needed UNSTANDARD schools? Schools that could change to meet the needs of the students.
The next legislative session will begin in January. You will have a much harder time reaching your legislators once it starts. Schedule an appointment to meet with them before the session begins and be sure to take a parent and a student with you.
Even better, invite them to your school. Make sure to have PARENTS with you with their success stories of how the McKay Scholarship is transforming lives and is a viable and accountable program.
We have attached some tips for developing relationships with your legislators as well as a Fact Sheets concerning the McKay Scholarship.
Start today by scheduling your first appointment with your legislator and start the process of educating and developing champions for the McKay Scholarship Program.