Contacting Your
   The legislative session is in progress.  As noted in the main article, we need to contact our legislators and explain why mandated testing is inappropriate for McKay Scholarship students.
   Go to:
   Take the survey results to the local office and touch base with the legislative aid if the legislator is not available.  This information helps our legislators understand why McKay Scholarship kids need to have access to many types of programs and testing.
School Choice Day
At The Capitol
April 3
11:00AM – 3:00PM
Show your support for school choice.
  Informational sessions
  Hear from legislators
  Tour the Capitol
      and more ....
Georgia McKeown
The ABCs of
School Choice
  The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice has published a comprehensive guide to every private school choice program in America.
  You can order a free copy from
  Woodland Hall Academy of Tallahassee was featured as a McKay Scholarship School.
Carrying the Message to the Governor and Commissioner
Commissioner Tony Bennett, Governor Rick Scott,
McKay Coalition President Steve Hicks
    As you are aware, the requirement of  mandated state testing for schools that accept vouchers (scholarship programs) has been raised in the press and on some educational blogs. 
   The Coalition of McKay Scholarship Schools has always supported Senator John McKay and the Legislature’s initial rationale for not requiring state testing for the McKay Scholarship Program.  Their rationale was that the McKay Scholarship Program was designed for the diversity of children with disabilities, for whom one size does not fit all.  Parents were to be able to choose schools whose programs and assessments met the needs of their children.
    The Coalition sent a survey to all McKay Scholarship Schools in February to determine what the effect of testing would have on acceptance of students taking the scholarship. Survey Results   Sixty-one percent of the schools answering the survey said they would withdraw from the McKay Scholarship Program if state testing was mandated.  This would tremendously limit the educational choices that parents have for their children with disabilities.
    On February 26th, The Coalition’s president, Steve Hicks, board member Robyn Rennick, the director of the Dyslexia Research Institute, Dr. Patricia Hardman, and Marion Hammer met with Governor Scott and Commissioner Bennett and presented the survey results and our concerns to them.  The governor and commissioner assured us that requiring FCAT and other mandated testing in private schools that accepted students in the McKay Scholarship program was not their intention.
    However, they also pointed out that we needed to be very active with legislators to bring them the information contained in the survey  showing  that schools were accountable and responsibly testing and providing results to the parents.  97.5% of the schools who answered the survey reported that they administered some type of formal assessment.
    While there is no current bill requiring FCAT or mandated testing for McKay students, Senate Bill 1400  has been filed which requires students engaged in the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship to take the FCAT.  It would be very easy for legislators to amend that bill to require FCAT for McKay students.
    Please contact your representatives with this survey information and the message that students on the McKay Scholarship have to be taught differently and schools have to be allowed to choose the assessments that match their needs. Survey Results
The Coalition of McKay Scholarship Schools
5246 Centerville Rd, Tallahassee, FL   32309