Sunday, December 8, 2019

Bringing Voices Together

In May of this year I was a participant in an exciting event called BRINGING VOICES TOGETHER, An Education Summit for Florida’s Public Schools. Over 1,300 parents, students, educators, and community members from across the state convened in Orlando for a full day of open conversation about the future of Florida’s neighborhood public schools.

The purpose of the meeting was to gather collective insight and inspire action. The experience surely inspired me and others to return to SW Florida and, on a smaller scale, arrange a similar event for our community. And so the Coalition for Quality Public Education has partnered with other important community groups in Collier County and Lee County to hold a SW Florida regional event: BRINGING VOICES TOGETHER, an Education Summit for SW Florida Public Schools on Monday, November 4th, from 6-8 PM at Lorenzo Walker Technical College’s cafeteria. All are welcome.

Public education in Florida is at a crossroads. Limited resources, competing values, and increased student needs presents significant challenges for neighborhood public schools. Event leaders will present information and questions, and engage participants in a unique process that harnesses collaborative dialogue, knowledge sharing and creative problem solving in heterogeneous small groups. Topics for discussion will include: public school funding, teacher recruitment and retention, and early childhood education (VPK). Feedback from this event will be shared with participants as well as community leaders who have the ability to make a difference. As the next legislative session nears, we want to create a community-driven vision for our schools, a plan to achieve it, and a group of people who are committed to advocating for the plan.

Never has the time been more important for parents, educators, students, community members, and civic leaders to come together and be part of this powerful conversation to shape Florida’s future. Our children need you to take the first step. Preservation of Florida’s public schools is one of the most critical issues of our time. We must come together to ensure that the path to educational opportunity and equity remains open for all.

The Coalition for Quality Public Education (C4QPE) is a nonprofit group of concerned residents committed to protecting and promoting high quality public education for all students. C4QPE is pleased to be joined by the following co-sponsors to bring you this event: the League of Women Voters Collier County, the League of Women Voters Lee County, the NAACP Collier County Branch, and the Greater Naples Branch of the American Association of University Women. All of these groups recognize the importance to the community of our public schools.

Registration can be done online at http://tinyurl.com/SWFLSummit. There is no cost to attend. Doors open at 5 PM. Refreshments will be provided.

Parents, teachers, education professionals, community members, civic leaders—anyone who cares about our public schools—should attend.

Please join us. We look forward to collaborating with you.

Beth Povlow, President

Coalition for Quality Public Education

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