Telefonos: Tallahassee 850-487-5038
Dear Senator Rene Garcia
District 38 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32999-1100
Miami, November 21, 2013
My name is Iliana Curra. I am a single mother and my son has been diagnosed with autism. He studies in a private school, thanks to a McKay scholarship, after having to repeat third grade. From then on everything started to improve and up to now, in spite of his condition, he has obtained good grades and has incorporated into society in a normal way, thanks God and his teachers, who had helped him throughout the years, he feels more self-confident in school.
I have received information from my son’s school (Champagnat Catholic School), advising me that my son will be affected by the new law, which will reduce the assigned funds for the virtual course, due to the fact that the Legislature during 2013 approved a new methodology for funds and reports for each full-time student under the McKay program for the school years 2013-2014 (section 2011.62 (4) (Florida By-Laws) stating that the students will not get additional funds. The money will be distributed in a way that will cover all the courses. The public schools of our district that have students taking the additional classes of the Florida Virtual School (FLVS), are receiving a certain amount of money for each student in order to continue with these courses, similar to the ones that received by the students with McKay scholarships, that take FLVS courses. The assigned funds for the scholarship will be adjusted. This means that we, the parents, will have the responsibility of paying $ 743 for every student that takes the virtual course, including the courses that they are taking right now.
Why the FEEP funds assigned to the students with McKay scholarships that have stayed in the districts are not used for the McKay students so that they may continue with the FLVS courses?
Why the parents of children with disability have to pay, when other parents that take the same courses (homeschool students, from private schools that do not have McKay scholarship, or students with Corporate Tax Scholarship, are not being imposed with a charge like this one?
Was it really the purpose of the Legislature, when they changed the Statutes to hurt the parents of children with disabilities?
The virtual courses are a great vehicle of training and knowledge for these children. They have learned to interact and, at the same time, using the technology to the fullest capacity. I am convinced that the virtual courses play a very important role in the comprehensive development of my son, as well as that of other students. I also consider that all the students should have the same rights and the same opportunities.
Awaiting for your attention and revision of this delicate situation, I remain,