Urge Your Florida Senator to Vote ‘Yes’ on Expansion of McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities

Background: The Catholic Bishops of Florida support the rights of parents to select the schools they deem best suited for their children.  The Bishops advocate policies for all children – especially those with disabilities or from low-income families – to receive state and federal services when necessary to help them obtain a quality education.  We encourage Catholic school leaders and parents to consider meeting State of Florida requirements for participation in the John McKay Scholarship Program.  Today, we are pleased to report that we have 1,651 McKay scholarship students in 93 Catholic elementary, secondary or special education schools.  A study by the Friedman Foundation has found that the McKay Program saves Florida more than $40 million per year.  Expanding the program is expected to generate additional savings to the state.

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Call To Action

 

State
ACTION ALERT

Urge Your Florida Senator to Vote ‘Yes’ on Expansion of McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities  


Background: The Catholic Bishops of Florida support the rights of parents to select the schools they deem best suited for their children.  The Bishops advocate policies for all children – especially those with disabilities or from low-income families – to receive state and federal services when necessary to help them obtain a quality education.  We encourage Catholic school leaders and parents to consider meeting State of Florida requirements for participation in the John McKay Scholarship Program.  Today, we are pleased to report that we have 1,651 McKay scholarship students in 93 Catholic elementary, secondary or special education schools.  A study by the Friedman Foundation has found that the McKay Program saves Florida more than $40 million per year.  Expanding the program is expected to generate additional savings to the state.

Issue: HB 1329 (Bileca) was passed with bipartisan support (98-17) today in the House.  This bill would allow the alternate eligibility process for McKay to include students on “504 accommodation plans.”  This term refers to a section of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973 regarding students with mental or physical disabilities such as diabetes, cerebral palsy, autism, etc.  At present, it can take parents months or even years to complete the existing eligibility process for getting their children into McKay.  The proposal would streamline the McKay entry process.  The bill would also help parents with more than one child keep their children together at the same school – whether public or private – when one child has a disability.  Parents would be empowered to partner with principals and schools to review and determine the education setting best staffed and equipped to serve the needs of particular students.  The Senate is scheduled to take up its version of the bill, SB 1656 (Wise), on Friday, April 29, 2011.

ACTION: Click the link below to send an email message urging the Florida Senate to pass HB 1329/SB 1656 and enable students with disabilities to find the education setting most helpful to their particular needs.  

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
http://www.votervoice.net/link/target/fcc/8tRN9Mty.aspx