Should students have more input on Florida school boards?
Yes, according to a proposed resolution that will be considered by the Florida PTA at its July retreat. The proposal, written by the group's student liaison, suggests that district school boards and the state Board of Education should have student advisors.
By coincidence, the Hernando County School Board voted two weeks ago to add a nonvoting (and unpaid) student member. Here's the text of the Florida PTA resolution:
WHEREAS, According to Article 9, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution, “The education of
children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida;” and
WHEREAS, Freedom of speech is a value enshrined in the First Amendment to the United
States Constitution and does not exclude students; and
WHEREAS, Students are key stakeholders in the public education system; and
WHEREAS, Students can provide perspective not offered by other stakeholders; and
WHEREAS, Students participate in a form of governance through Student Councils and
Student Government Associations; and
WHEREAS, High schools and vocational technical centers are required by Florida statute to
have students as members of their School Advisory Councils (SAC) and middle
schools may include students; and
WHEREAS, Student representatives serve on or are advisors to school boards across the
WHEREAS, Twenty-two states or territories, and the District of Columbia have students serving
as representatives or as advisors to their State Boards of Education; now therefore
RESOLVED, That the Florida PTA urges all school district superintendents and school boards to
include student representation on district advisory committees; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Florida PTA urges all school boards to establish and maintain a program
consisting of student advisors to the school board; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Florida PTA urges the Legislature and the State Board of Education to
establish and maintain a program consisting of student representatives or advisors
to the State Board of Education.