My Time at FLCA: A Reflection Advocating for Education Reform in Florida

by | Apr 17, 2024

A reflection by: Isabelle Clemons

As my internship at the Florida Citizen’s Alliance (FLCA) comes to a close, I would like to reflect on the experiences, lessons learned, and my vision for the future of education in the Sunshine State. I have had the privilege of working with FLCA since 2020, contributing to their efforts in education reform and information outreach. 

During my time here, I have worked on several projects and gained first-hand experience of the legislative process that shapes Florida’s educational landscape. One of the most significant projects I worked on during my internship was the county rankings in education. Our team of interns organized every Florida county into rankings, making the information easily digestible for parents. This project was crucial in keeping parents informed about their children’s schools and providing them with the information needed to make the best decisions for their child’s education. It was eye-opening to see the disparities that exist across different regions of Florida. While some counties have excellent educational systems, others struggle to provide equitable opportunities for all students. This project highlighted the urgent need for targeted interventions to address these inequalities and ensure that every child in Florida receives a quality education, regardless of their zip code. 

I also helped interpret legislative materials during my time at FLCA. HB 1 was one of those legislative materials. HB1 is a transformative piece of legislation in Florida that expands school choice options, eliminates financial eligibility restrictions, and addresses voter access, election integrity, and political spending. The bill also aims to protect minors from social media dangers, including exposure to explicit materials, conflicts, and cyberbullying. It has received widespread bipartisan support and is seen as a crucial measure to protect the mental health and well-being of Florida’s youth, parents, and communities. 

My internship at FLCA has been a profound learning experience, both professionally and personally. I have gained insights into the intricacies of policymaking, honed my research and analytical skills, and developed a deeper understanding of the challenges facing Florida’s education system. I feel proud to have been able to participate in outreach to keep parents informed. 

Looking to the future, I envision an education system where every student has access to high-quality education and ample opportunities for success. To achieve this vision, we must continue advocating for bold reforms like HB 1 while also exploring innovative solutions to address systemic inequities. Additionally, we must prioritize the promotion and advertisement of resources like the Hope Scholarship, ensuring that families are aware of the support available to them. While significant strides have been made in education reform, there is still much work to be done. Together, let’s build a brighter future in the Sunshine State for the generations to come.

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Staël Dantes

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