Friday, June 01, 2007

2007 Delegate Assembly

2007 Delegate Assembly

Right after the Leadership Development Conference, join us for the 2007 FCA Delegate Assembly meeting which will start on Sunday, June 10, 2007, at 10:00 am in Safety Harbor, Florida.

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Show your support for an exciting proposed change that will give you more choice in benefit and service options. The Florida School Counselor Association has proposed a change to the FCA Bylaws which will be considered at the upcoming Delegate Assembly meeting in Safety Harbor, Florida. The Bylaws change specified below will give Florida counselors from all specialties the freedom to choose Association membership. That is, they may choose to belong to FCA and/or other Divisions (or both).

Update to the FCA Bylaws:

According to FCA Bylaws Article IX regarding Bylaws amendments, Section 1:

A.       Proposed changes to the By-Laws shall be submitted in writing to the President and Executive Director.

B.       The President shall appoint a By-Laws Revision Committee to study the proposed changes and make recommendations to the Presidential Council and Executive Board.

C.       The Presidential Council and Executive Board shall study the committee’s recommendations and present all proposals to the Delegate Assembly with the Presidential Council’s and Executive Board’s approval.

D.      The Delegate Assembly may amend these By-Laws by a majority vote.



The FSCA Board has followed the FCA procedures for requesting a By-Laws change to delete the part in Article 1, Section 1H, as follows:


Members of FCA are encouraged to apply for membership in more than one FCA Division. Membership in a Division requires meeting Divisional requirements and holding current FCA membership, except applicants for an FCA-approved Divisional affiliate membership category.


As amended, the updated Bylaws would read:


Members of FCA are encouraged to apply for membership in more than one FCA Division. Membership in a Division requires meeting Divisional requirements except applicants for an FCA-approved Divisional affiliate membership category.



We are also including our responses to some questions which we anticipate you may have:

Why is FSCA proposing this Bylaw change?

FSCA merely endeavors to update the way it does business to make itself more efficient and effective in accomplishing organizational goals. The current Bylaws change will help make the organization more flexible, responsive, and more accountable to its members. FSCA believes that allowing Florida’s counselors greater freedom of choice in selecting organizations is the right thing to do. FSCA is also inspired by our national organizations, ACA and ASCA, which have demonstrated now over 10 years time that this membership structure allows all organizations to excel in helping counselors and advancing the profession.

          What is the anticipated impact of this Bylaws change?

There actually are many advantages which all Divisions can experience:

·   Florida counselors will have greater flexibility when choosing membership among various professional organizations.  

· The FSCA Board members will have greater access to data and influence over matters for which they are held responsible and accountable. For example, membership processing, communication, collaboration, and member benefits and services.

· FSCA can take greater advantage of organizational services when membership dues are not commingled with other accounts.  

· FCA will be relieved of its duties to manage Division membership and data if the Division chooses this option. Instead, FCA can focus more on the goals of its organization for advancing all counseling specialties in Florida.

· FCA will be relieved of some liability for its Divisions as it relates to officer actions and financial decisions.

Also know that:

· The current Bylaws change only presents the opportunity to allow its members to join one or more select organizations. Any Division may opt to continue the current structure if they so choose.

· Any Division that chooses to allow for flexible membership will experience significant pressure to provide benefits, resources, and advocacy for its members/profession. As no organization can accomplish their goals alone, we believe that this will foster new and exciting collaborations and partnerships among Divisions and with FCA.

Does this mean that FSCA is disaffiliating from FCA?                                                 

· No. Affiliation and membership are two different things. FSCA does not seek to disaffiliate from FCA. This does not in any way affect our Division status with FCA. In fact, we are following FCA Bylaws procedures because maintaining our FCA Division partnership is very important to FSCA. The FSCA leadership looks forward to a future partnership between FCA and other Divisions that is stronger and even more collaborative. What we are doing is not new and simply reflects the structure of our national groups, ACA and ASCA and other successful state school counseling associations (e.g., Kentucky Counseling Association).

Why did FSCA not poll its membership to see if this is actually what they want?

· The FSCA Board members were elected to be the leaders and stewards of our Association in the State of Florida. The organization must be nimble, effective, and visionary. We cannot poll our members every time we need to make an important decision about where we’re headed to best serve school counselors in the 21st century. FSCA board members have considered our Bylaws changes very carefully and very seriously. We have compiled and analyzed data from other states, polled leaders in those states, and consulted with non-profit organization professionals (data will be presented at Delegate Assembly). The benefits of the Bylaws changes for professional school counselors and for Divisions are clear.

What about FCA? They would not exist because counselors would simply go for the cheaper rate.

· This is simply not true. As the Florida Counseling Association provides benefits and services that are of interest and value to a counselor, the counselor will join the Association. Our national organizations, the American Counseling Association and the American School Counselor Association, have demonstrated that two such organizations can effectively exist and uniquely contribute to the counseling professions.

What services would FSCA members get if this Bylaws change passes? Only a newsletter and a website?

· Actually, FSCA already provides many valuable benefits and services that include legislative advocacy, statewide professional development institutes, electronic resources and tools, a periodic newsletter, immediate and updated news via the FSCA blog, representation at the national delegate assembly, collaboration with the department of education, and various aspects of the annual conference such as exhibit hall development and programs (see This Bylaws change will put pressure on the organization to perform beyond current levels. At the same time, the proposed Bylaws change will allow FSCA the flexibility to meet future standards of performance. 

Then school counselors would have to pay the non-member rate to attend FCA's convention, right?

· There are still many unknowns regarding the annual conference. It may be that FSCA and FCA work out an agreement so that all of our members can attend one conference at a single rate. It could also be that FSCA holds an annual conference and invites all counselors from all specialties, including FCA members, at a single or discounted rate. It may also very well be that the full conference rate plus a FSCA membership under the new Bylaws may still cost less than the current cost of joining both FCA and FSCA. Providing quality professional development at a fair price is a primary goal of FSCA and will continue to be a primary priority and focus.

This may benefit FSCA but not FCA or any of the smaller Divisions.

· Actually, the proposed Bylaws changes would give all Divisions the same advantages as outlined above.

The small Division reps have worked so hard to build their memberships; how would this affect them?

· Under the proposed Bylaws changes, they will have the same opportunity to respond and grow if they so choose, similar to many of the ACA Divisions at the national level.

How would we represent our members legislatively because the Lobbyist belongs to FCA?

· This question assumes that there is only one way to develop an effective legislative agenda for counselors in the state of Florida. In fact, there is more than one way which could include a shared lobbyist among FCA, FSCA, the other Divisions, and perhaps even related professions such as psychology and social work. 

Although FSCA isn't calling it disaffiliation, this is exactly what it is, isn’t it?

· This is simply not true. FSCA will continue to be a Division of the FCA (as well as the American School Counselor Association), will designate itself as such, as well as continue to adhere to the FCA Bylaws. It is important for FSCA to continue being a Division of the FCA which is why FSCA has chosen to propose the FCA Bylaws instead of acting in a way that would render the Association out of compliance. 

shansheraPlease feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Hope to see you there!

Shanshera Banks-Quinn


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