The Florida Legislative Process 2021: Private and Public Schools

This is part of a series by the League of Women Voters of Citrus County (LWVCC) about Florida’s legislative process and issues.  The purpose is to increase citizen understanding and engagement. Since Florida’s 2021 Legislative session opened on March 2, bills are rapidly moving through both House and Senate.  This column addresses a bill to expand “School Choice.” SB 48, Educational Scholarships Program, proposes a massive expansion of  Florida’s private education options.  Florida already allows low-income parents to use publicly funded scholarship programs to place their children in private, mostly religious schools.  SB 48  has passed through committees and is nearing a vote on the Senate floor.   If passed, SB 48 will have a far-reaching impact on education in Florida.  SB 48 will: Merge Florida’s five current scholarship programs into two, one for students with disabilities and one for all others, making the system easier for parents to navigate.

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National Suicide Prevention Month

National Suicide Prevention Month By Nancy Gau   Please reach out to family, friends, co-workers, (or even a stranger) and remind them that September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and encourage them to please pass the word on.    On average, there are 120 suicides every day in the United States. It is the tenth leading cause of death in America and the second leading cause for the age group 25-34! The suicide rate among young adults (ages 15-24) has tripled since 1950. We can help reduce these numbers by spreading awareness, advocating, educating, and kindness. Also, three LWVPBC Issue Groups (Healthcare, Gun Safety, and Education) will be working together to find solutions to this issue. These plans are currently on hold due to the pandemic, but we still communicate, e.g., Becky Pickup and Kristin Murtaugh presented a piece about the “lock it up” program during one of our weekly

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Covid Is A Long Term Reality – Answer the Census Now To Help Us Keep Fighting It

Even after a vaccine joins the fight against Covid 19, the long term health effects and costs will remain in your community. It will take long term health resources, such as Medicare, Medicaid and community health centers to continue our response. And the way to secure those resources is to answer the Census NOW. Ask all your friends, organizations, congregations and neighbors to respond by going to www.2020census.gov for information in your own language. It takes just a few minutes to respond by phone (1-844-330-2020) or on line. And every response will bring over $30,000 to Florida during the next decade. The majority of that money will be for health programs.

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Celebration of Public Education

Celebration of Public Education

Our month-long “Celebration of Public Education” was kicked off at the September Cool Topic, where Dr. Jeraline Johnson, Director of Choice Programs for the School District of Palm Beach County, presented an overview of the choice programs in the district. She spoke to an audience of 35 members, 10 school board employees and over 25 students. Our school district is a recognized national leader in providing varied, exciting and innovative avenues to learning. The majority of the schools in Palm Beach County offer a choice program to their students. Career Academies are available to secondary students. Programs such as Biomedical & Veterinary Technology, Dual Language, Automotive Service Technology, Construction and Engineering are offered throughout the district. Many students graduate with certification in a number of areas that allow them to join the workforce upon graduation or begin their path to a career. Students and teachers from Lake Worth High School,

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