The League of Women Voters of Florida supports Florida’s constitutional requirement to make adequate provision for the education of all children that is ‘uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality’. We support a free public-school system for Florida with high standards for student achievement and with quality of educational opportunity for all that is financed adequately by the state through an equitable funding formula.
The League of Women Voters of Manatee County’s EDUCATION PRIORITIES include:
Promote adequate funding, exemplary instructional practices, and a wide range of support services for students in Manatee County’s public schools, that result in grade-level literacy and other indicators of improved student outcomes.
Advocate for decisions made by the School Board to be aligned to the Manatee School District’s Mission and Vision and demonstrate fulfillment of the Strategic Plan.
Encourage membership and community engagement in matters of Manatee District School Board’s governance.
Convene programs on educational issues and take part in collaborative efforts.
Monitor the impact of state legislation on teaching and learning locally.
Read our Position Papers and Executive Summaries below:
Education Issues Action Team Accomplishments for 2023-2024 to date:
- Action Team Members made a public comment to the Manatee School Board and distributed a position paper: Library Media Materials Recommendations Post-HB 1069, August 22, 2023 and read into the record: Declaration Regarding School Media Center and Classroom Library Materials based upon the position paper.
- Completed and distributed to Superintendent Wysong An Inquiry into Horizons Academy Main Campus by the NAACP and League of Women Voters of Manatee County 2021-2023 on 8/16/23. Awaiting response.
- In collaboration with NAACP, Action Team members compiled: Authentic History Resources Gathered by the Authentic History Task Force, 8/11/23.
- Continuing School Board Observations Reports given to School Board members and the Superintendent and published in The Bradenton Times.
Education Issues Action Team Accomplishments for 2022-2023:
- Provided School Board Observation Reports to School Board members and the Superintendent after each of their general meetings, giving them feedback on governance and adherence to sunshine behaviors. These reports are also published in The Bradenton Times.
- Invited Dr. Sara Stitzlein, University of Cincinnati professor and author, to share her research and work on the importance of public education to an inclusive democracy through a statewide LWV session and a follow up study group session.
- Hosted the November 14, 2022, Hot Topic featuring FL LWV’s Education Issues co-chair titled The Impact of Recent Florida Education Legislation.
- Partnered with Manatee County NAACP on the continued inquiry into the placement practices, student experiences during and after placement, at Manatee District’s Horizons Academy, alternative placement program. Awaiting results of five-year demographic records request from the district.
- Successfully impacted uniformity of administration of the school district’s current Code of Conduct and schools’ behavior plans.
- Attended the FL LWV’s Education Issues statewide meetings to share information, practices, and issues. This resulted in Sarasota County’s LWV initiating a School Board Observation Cadre patterned after ours.
Hot Topics Presentation – Charter Schools Accountability for Finances and Success – February 20,2020
A panel discussion. Shirley Brown, Sarasota County School Board, Mitchell Teitelbaum, Manatee School District General Council, Frank Pistella, Director of District Support. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RBjfUi1HPI
Handout Materials from the February 2020 Hot Topics presentation on Charter School Accountability
Reference materials on charter schools https://lwvmanatee.org/charter-schools-references-of-interest/
Statistics and ratings on Manatee County charter schools Click Here
- Promote adequate funding of public education with no use of public funding for the expansion of funding of private education through a voucher program.
- Support a curricular framework that includes broad common standards developed by educational experts that serves as a guide to local districts, including the historic mandates to teach Holocaust, antisemitism and African American History, and associated messages of tolerance and understanding, and the new standard to teach civics.
- Support the increased oversight of the development and implementation of charter school contracts with regard to administrative fees, facility contracts, teacher salaries and benefits, and instructional innovation, independence of charter board members, and unmet need in the district. Require charter school contracts to stipulate how capital outlay funding and the assets they purchase will be recouped by the school district if the charter school should close or if the building is sold.
- Support a statewide assessment and accountability system that provides valid data and appropriate intervals to measure student progress for all students and schools that receive public funds directly and indirectly. Data should be used to identify areas where increased support is needed.
- Support higher standards for early childhood education staff and programs.
- Charter school quality, management, and cost-efficiency. See statewide study on school choice here.
- Constitutionality of direct and indirect funding to support private schools.
- Impact of testing and school grade policies on teaching, learning, and curriculum.
- Impact of school choice on school racial and economic segregation and local control of education policy.
- Support any legislation that promotes diversity and nondiscrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, nationality, and ability status in all publicly funded schools. Oppose any legislation that aims to give tax dollars to private schools that discriminate (in policy or in practice) based on those criteria.