Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Advocacy for FSCA

Advocacy for FSCA

Our bill, SB 0154, Student Failure Prevention Act, has been filed again in Florida’s Senate by our Champion Senator Nancy Detert. Sen. Detert talks about our issue and this bill in every venue and to all legislators as much as possible. It is being drafted in the House and we expect filing before the deadline in early March. Rep. Adkins who filed our bill last year and is still a staunch supporter cannot file for us this year due to changes in her committee assignments. However, she is chair of an important committee to us and is working hard with FSCA to ensure that the bill gets filed and has support.

What you can do?

1. Write a note to Senator Detert thanking her for her tireless support.

2. Write a note to Rep Adkins and thank her for helping us help students.

3. Contact your own legislators (and others who may cover your school district in neighboring jurisdictions) and let each know that you want their support. (You can find your own and neighboring legislator names and contact information at http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/Find. Florida’s groupings of legislative delegations can be found here. 

Tell them that you support SB 154 and any companion legislation filed in the House to increase school counselors in every school, improve student access to counselors, and to ensure that every student has adequate and sufficient school counseling programs. Florida’s poor graduation rate would be improved by continuous and appropriate school counseling programs that focus on career and academic development. Furthermore, school counselors provide programs and skilled understanding of student’s personal and behavioral development to help be a first line of defense to promote student safety. ASCA’s recommendation of a ratio of 1 school counselor to 250 students coupled with ensuring that school counselors engaging in the jobs for which they are best trained and suited, is imperative to achieve our achievement, economic, and safety goals as a state.

Join FSCA in Tallahassee for FSCA legislative days on March 11 (for training) and 12 to see state lawmakers about school counseling. Please RSVP by emailing fsca@fla-schoolcounselor.org.

What you can do?

1. See if your spring break or school schedule will allow you to be in Tallahassee to join us. If you are on the clock on either of those days, make sure you have noted personal leave to Tallahassee.

2. If you can join us, please to arrive in the afternoon of March 11 for an update and training with our Advocacy consultant Carole Green.

3. Start contacting your legislators now to let them know who you are, what you are interested in, and that you will be contacting them for a brief appointment to see them on March 12 when you are in town.

4. Some tips: Do make arrangements for travel and lodging early as Tallahassee fills up quickly during session. Organize a group to carpool from your area. Invite school counseling students to join you if you have room in your car.