February 15, 2016
The Florida School Counselor Association learned that any bill this year with a fiscal tag associated with it would not be considered during this legislative session. Our bill was deemed to have a price tag and therefore was not placed on the agenda of the K-12 education subcommittees despite both sub committees (house and senate) indicating strong support for the bill. The positive side is that there is increased support state-wide, from various groups, such as the state PTA.
The Association’s resolve to support every child in Florida schools has not been diminished and plans are already underway for developing the advocacy actions for the 2017 legislative session. In the meantime, please continue to reach out to your legislators in order to develop relationships and increase the understanding of what school counselors do and impact we can make.
We will provide monthly updates about what you can do at the local level to advocate for our profession!
1. Develop alliances with district personal, superintendents, PTA, etc.
2. Educate other’s about what we do and the impact we have on student success.
School Counselors eliminate barriers impeding students’ development by providing services such as:
- creating opportunities for all students to learn
- ensuring access to a quality school curriculum
- collaborating with others within and outside the school to help students meet their needs
- promoting positive, systemic change in schools
- ensuring academic rigorous coursework
- promoting success in academics through social-emotional learning in addition to teaching academic skills such as test taking strategies, time management, organizational skills, and work-ready skills
- educating students about financial aid opportunities and the process to acquire financial aid
- providing opportunities in career technical certificate programs and two and four year college degrees
- addressing social and emotional issues and aid in the reduction of bullying and peer mediation
“Advocating for the academic success of every student is a key role of school counselors and places them as leaders in promoting school reform” (ASCA, 2003, p. 24).
January 6, 2016
Contact Your Legislators!
FSCA worked with the FSCA lobbyist and Senator Detert’s office to draft a bill, now filed as SB 1162 and HB 1045 to address how school counselors can better use their time and knowledge/skills to help students. CLICK HERE for more information about these bills.
Now that the bills have been filed in the House and Senate, it’s crucial that ALL Florida School Counselors connect with their legislators. This link will help you find contact information for your legislator.
It would be ideal for you to call your legislator and tell them about the bill (see Talking Points online). If that’s not possible, then definitely send your legislator an email. FSCA leaders have written two sample email templates that you can tweak and add your own personal touch. Here are the sample email drafts: DRAFT #1 & DRAFT #2.
Please contact Advocacy Chair, Summer Kuba, at firstname.lastname@example.org
December 28, 2015
School Counseling Bill Filed in the FL House & Senate
Thank you to Senator Nancy Detert & Representative Reggie Fullwood, FSCA’s Bill in support of Florida Certified School Counselors is now officially filed! See links below to find out more information about the Bill.
SB 1162: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2016/1162/
HB 1045: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=56019
The time to contact your legislators is NOW! Email or call them to share about the importance of this bill and ask for their support. Click on this link and enter your address to find your Florida legislators: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspx
Let your legislators know about the importance of supporting this Bill. Visit this link for talking points about the Bill: http://fla-schoolcounselor.org/files/TalkingPointsNov2015.pdf
Stay tuned to the FSCA Website, Enewsblasts, and our FSCA blog for more information.
November 18, 2015
On November 18, 2015, eight FSCA Representatives attended Day on the Hill. They spoke with Florida legislators about the drafted school counseling bill and the important role school counselors play in the academic success, social/emotional development and the college and career readiness of students across the state. FSCA’s lobbyist Carol Greene led the group and was instrumental in arranging a meeting with the Commissioner of Education for the state of Florida, Pam Stewart.
FSCA representatives included (from left to right): Becky Schumacher (Duval), Summer Kuba (St. Lucie), (Brian Richardson (Volusia), Catherine Bekkedal (Duval), Beth Jenkins (Duval), Jeannie Maddox (Volusia), Alice Mathis (Leon) & Charlena Durrance (Volusia). We had a great turnout and were able to have a lot of productive conversations with our Florida representatives and senators.
Florida school counselors continue to educate legislators on the role of the school counselor. If you are interested in joining FSCA’s advocacy efforts, please contact Summer Kuba at email@example.com.