The ACCPTA Advocacy Committees is currently working on these main areas:

Facilities Support – 1/2 Cent Sales Tax Initiative

  • EVERY school in Alachua County has some unmet facilities needs due to lack of state funding and suppression of local revenue sources. For some examples, please click here.
  • ACCPTA POSITION STATEMENT: These needs are not going to be met without an additional local revenue source. The reduced ability to maintain or improve our facilities will negatively impact the learning environment of our children. We support our School Board of Alachua County moving forward with a 1/2 cent sales tax for school infrastructure funding.
  • WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW:
    1. E-mail or call your school board members in support of the ACCPTA position on a 1/2 cent sales tax for school infrastructure funding. (E-mail: boardmembers@gm.sbac.edu)
    2. Attend the Tuesday, September 19th Alachua County School Board Meeting to show support for the recommendation for a 1/2 sales tax initiative. Be sure to wear a PTA or your school’s t-shirt.

Lawsuit against HB7069

  • This bill passed in May 2017 is affecting ALL public schools in Florida. For example, HB7069 takes away local school board authority, suppresses local communities ability to raise funds for facilities, mandated for school districts to share local tax revenues with charter schools for facilities construction, renovation, and repair, and increases the stakes for accountability based on testing. For more details, read the FL PTAs white paper on HB7069.
  • This has a negative impact on Alachua County Public Schools. One example, Hawthorne Middle-High School (currently a “D” school) is forced into a high-stakes school year with a new administration and teachers. This school community has one option, earn a “C” or close the school. Read the ACCPTA’s Gainesville Sun article here.
  • Our Alachua County School Board has the opportunity to join 11 other counties in a lawsuit based on the unconstitutionality of HB7069.
  • ACCPTA POSITION STATEMENT:  We support the Florida PTA’s position on HB7069. We encourage our Alachua County School Board to join the other 11 school boards in the HB7069 lawsuit. You can view ACCPTA’s letter of support here.
  • WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW:
    • REGARDING HB7069
      1. Join your ACCPTA in getting to know our legislators. Contact Rik McNeill or Arlene Stewart to find out how to help or join the advocacy committee.
      2. Join Voter Voice
    • REGARDING THE HB7069 LAWSUIT
      1. Write our school board members to encourage them to join the HB7069 lawsuit.

Reject Charter Schools USA

ACCPTA POSITION STATEMENT:

The proposed For-Profit Charter School USA to build a school in Alachua County should be rejected by the School Board, the State Board of Education, and every  PTA member and parent in Alachua County.

BACKGROUND:

School Funding every year becomes more and more inadequate.  Accepting a proposal from Charter School USA to build a for-profit school here only makes finances worse for the students in our public schools.

Federal funding for public education programs has remained at 2% of the federal budget for decades, despite the increase in public school enrollment and the rising cost of education resources and services. This disparity between funding levels and actual costs means that the federal government has essentially enacted cuts to classrooms.

Florida’s failure, as reported in the Ocala Star Banner, to properly fund public education is illustrated by how our state budget has grown by billions in the last ten years while per pupil expenditures, when adjusted for inflation, reduces the amount spent on each student by $874.91.

Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) has this new threat to its economic and financial woes, a preliminary application for a FOR-PROFIT charter school aiming to draw 1,100 students from various schools. While Charter Schools USA is proposing to build a for-profit school in the southwest area, it will disrupt scheduling students and providing teachers and resources from Hawthorne to Newberry and all the schools in between. These for-profit charter schools will not help but will hurt the success of all students in Alachua.

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW:

  • Sign the petition and educate yourself and others by looking closely at the website of local citizens, Parents Against Corporate Takeover website: https://www.parentsagainstcorportatetakeovers.com/
  • Write School Board members and ask them to reject for-profit charter schools here in Alachua County.
  • Encourage all of your friends and neighbors with school-age children to reject the lure of slick advertising and promises from Charter Schools USA so they cannot profit from our children’s attendance.

More information and resources can be found at:

http://floridapta.org/advocacy
http://www.pta.org/advocacy/

Advocacy Committee Power point slides Aug 2017