School Board Members Gather in Tallahassee for FSBA Advocacy Event

School Board Members Gather in Tallahassee for FSBA Advocacy Event
Posted on 01/26/2024
School Board Members Gather in Tallahassee for FSBA Advocacy Event

The School Board of Lee County represented the School District of Lee County at the State Capitol in Tallahassee on January 17-18, 2024, to actively participate in the 37th Annual Day in the Legislature hosted by the Florida School Boards Association (FSBA). Chair Sam Fisher, District 2 Representative Melisa Giovannelli, District 4 Representative Debbie Jordan and District 5 Representative Armor Persons joined more than 125 school board members and education leaders from around the state for the two-day event.

The Day in the Legislature began with a comprehensive briefing session offering real-time updates on the status of significant education-related bills and funding proposals currently under consideration by the Legislature. This included updates on the status of the highly impactful deregulation bills moving through the Senate. The second day started with Coffee and Conversations with Florida Legislators, an exclusive session where Representatives Robin Bartleman (D-103) and Ralph Massullo, MD (R-23), shared insights on key issues. Subsequently, participants had the privilege to visit the Capitol, engage with their respective legislative delegations, and attend pivotal legislative committee meetings.

“My fellow board members and I were honored to represent our amazing students, staff and families of the School District of Lee County,” said Board Chair Sam Fisher. “This time with our state lawmakers is crucial to advancing the needs of our students and staff, advocating for essential programs, and securing the funding necessary to help every student achieve their highest potential. We will continue to work hand in hand with our legislative delegation to ensure continued success for our district.”

Dr. Danielle Thomas, FSBA Director of Advocacy and Legislative Services, emphasized the significance of the event, stating, "This event provided a unique platform for school board members to actively participate in the legislative process, engaging with lawmakers to address education issues pertinent to the students, families, and educators within their districts."

Reflecting on the event's legacy, Andrea Messina, FSBA Chief Executive Officer, expressed pride in celebrating the 37th anniversary of this advocacy initiative. "Since 1930, FSBA has consistently positioned itself as ‘The Voice of Education in Florida.' The thoughtful and articulate advocacy demonstrated by school board members during this event exemplifies our commitment which is more important now than ever before," Messina added.

The mission of FSBA is to increase student achievement through the development of effective school board leadership and advocacy for public education. For additional information about this event and the Florida School Boards Association, please visit