Organized support and “community organizing” of highly controversial and political issues is critical to any democracy. This civil activism is alive and well in Miami Dade County Public Schools and elsewhere, and that’s a wonderful thing.
Charter schools are encouraging their parents to be involved in a conversation about HB7069 — a bill that directly impacts their child’s school and future education. Charter schools have a responsibility to reach out to our parents and keep them informed about issues that directly impact their children. Many charter schools have sent their parents information about HB7069 and asked them to reach out to the Governor if the want to support the bill. This effort is being criticized by the district and media.
Please consider this March 15, 2017 story titled Miami schools vote to protect undocumented immigrants, refugees (http://www.miamiherald.com/…/education/article138758253.html). Here’s an excerpt from that story:
The Miami-Dade school district has long been vocal in its support of undocumented immigrants. In 2012, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho joined a protest at North Miami Senior High after a judge ordered the deportation of the school’s valedictorian, a Colombian immigrant whose parents brought her to the United States as a toddler. In January, the school board authorized the superintendent to write a letter to President Donald Trump expressing the school district’s support for immigration relief for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children.
And then there’s this story from 2011, Students in Tallahassee to protest education cuts: http://www.tampabay.com/…/students-in-tallahassee-t…/1159426
Per the story, “(t)he students — most of them high schoolers from Miami-Dade County — came as part of the Florida PTA’s third annual “Rally in Tally,” a protest decrying decreased public school funding….After the meeting, students roamed the halls looking for lawmakers, and met with Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and several current and former School Board members, before gathering on the steps of the Capitol for the rally.”
And consider this 2011 letter written by MDCPS to school principals: http://nautilus.dadeschools.net/Rally-Before-Tally.pdf
The letter is about encouraging parents, teachers and students to sign-up for the Rally BEFORE Tally. In that letter, the district encourages principals “to work with your school’s PTA/PTSA leadership, and members, your teachers, and staff to ensure active participation.”
“Article 26 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written in December 1948, states that ‘Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.’ That is the fundamental idea behind school choice and charter schools,” explains Lynn Norman-Teck, FCSA Executive Director and charter school parent of two. “Charter schools take this idea a step further by encouraging parents to be active participants in their child’s education and be involved in classroom and school activities. Some charter schools have alerted parents about the funding aspects of HB7069 and are telling them they can contact the governor if they support the bill. The goal is to inform parents about the proposed legislation that impacts their child’s education funding. An attempt to prevent or limit parents’ access to information that directly impacts their child’s school and public education funding is unconstitutional and potentially dangerous.”