Advocacy Report – September 9, 2023

Melissa Daniel
Advocacy Chair, DCCPTA
Prepared 09/22/23
September General Meeting – Advocacy Chair Report

  • Superintendent Update. DCPS wants stakeholder input.
    • Website for notes from community forums (added as updated)
    •  Survey results released. 3600 people participated.
    • Qualities include integrity, background in education, ability to lead a diverse district,
      problem solver with proven demonstrable success in a large urban district.
    • Current timeline:
      • 10/18: Semifinalists selected.
        11/16-17: Interviews with 3-4 finalists.
        11/21: Superintendent Selected
    • Applicants that have applied
      • Scott Schneider
      • Dr. Clifford Burns
      • Dr. Garrick Askew
      • Adam Taylor
  • Voucher update from Step Up for Students as requested by Florida Policy Institute (from Pineapple
  • Link to article:
    • 242,929 students are enrolled in the voucher program.
    • 122,895 are new to the program.
    • 84,505 of these new recipients (69%) were already in private school, 16,096 (13%) came from
      public schools, and 22,294 are entering kindergartners.
    • 53,828 (44%) of new students are from families that make over $120,000 for a household of
      four or did not submit income. Thirty percent are from families that make $55,000 for a
      household of four.
    • Of the 242,929 total students enrolled, 44% are from families that make $55,000 for a
      household of four, 29% are from families that make $55,000 to $120,000 for a household of
  • Florida now leads the country in number of books removed.
    • More books were pulled from shelves in Florida public schools compared to any other state
      during the past school year according to PEN America (non profit that advocated for freedom of expression.
    • The nonprofit, recorded 3,362 instances of bans in public school classrooms and libraries from July 2022 to June 2023 across the country. Out of these, about 1,400 — or 40% of the national total — took place in Florida (Texas was second at 625)
    • A book ban is defined by PEN as as “any action taken against a book based on its content, and
      as a result of parent or community challenges, administrative decisions, or in response to direct or threatened action by lawmakers or other governmental officials, that leads to a previously accessible book.” Most books from last year are currently classified as “banned pending investigation”
    • Read more at:
  • Legislative Session – January 9th – March 8th, 2023
    • Sign up for Take Action Network (must renew each year)
    • Both national and FLPTA.
    • Florida PTA Leg Con: January 28th – 30th
  • Resources:
    • Jacksonville Public Education Fund Website
    • FLPTA and National PTA websites both have advocacy areas.
    • Twitter – @FLPTA_Leg – FLPTA legislative updates
    • Facebook and Twitter – Follow your school board member and other elected officials as well!!
    • Pineapple Report – Sign up for emails and follow on social media
  • Remember that PTA is nonpartisan and works to direct its efforts at members of all political parties in order to enact change. When PTA officers or lobbyists participate in legislative activities that educate lawmakers about officially adopted PTA positions or support a particular piece of legislation that is in agreement with the PTA Legislative Program, it is done on a strictly nonpartisan basis.
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