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Florida Alliance for Choices in Education (FACE) Meeting and National School Choice Event held in Tampa, Florida -January 29, 2013

By Ira Paul, President, IVBE, Inc.

The FACE meeting began at 11:00 AM with introductions and welcome.  An agenda folder was distributed to those present representing their various organizations.  A copy of the IVBE 2012-2013 Legislative Priorities was included along with other documents. 

The topics for discussion included: Parent Empowerment/ Parent Trigger; Charter Schools; Career Academies; Magnet Schools; Digital Learning; McKay; Homeschooling; Tax Credit Scholarship; and Education Accounts.
FACE Bylaws were discussed and reviewed following a discussion on the dues structure.  Further discussion and a decision will be proposed at the next meeting.

The Organizers’ Committee came up with the following statement: “State policy should enable all parents to be fully engaged in their children’s education and to access those learning options that best meet their children’s needs.”
FACE will be co-hosting a School Choice Rally in Tallahassee on April 3.  Following an open agenda, a dialogue was held with Senator John Legg and Education Commissioner Tony Bennett.

The National School Choice Week event put together by the Organizers’ Committee immediately followed the meeting and was held at Franklyn Middle Magnet School.  The topic was Choice in Florida: A Showcase and Panel Discussion. The Dayspring Academy performed songs, followed by a VIP reception.  Franklyn students recited the Franklyn Creed and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Wendy Howard gave the opening remarks and explained FACE and her own experiences regarding choice in Florida.
Superintendent Elia discussed Franklyn Middle Magnet and talked about choice in Hillsborough County.
Commissioner Bennett gave an overview of choice in Florida and discussed new numbers of students in Florida choosing schools other than their neighborhood schools.

The event finished with a panel discussion on areas of choice, present number of students sharing that option and personal experiences related to their area of choice.  Following closing remarks, media and guests were given the opportunity to meet the panelists and ask questions one on one. 



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