I’m honored to have received the endorsement of the Greater Orlando Builders Association. OCPS is now the ninth largest school district in the nation and the fourth largest in Florida, and we’re growing by approximately 5,000 additional students each year. That means we’re partnering with the building community not just to build new schools but also to renovate old ones and to ensure we continue to open alternate doors for interested students though career and technical education opportunities. Volunteering my time to ensure all students have the resources and tools they need to succeed has been one of my life’s greatest...

"For three long year,s we fought for daily recess for elementary school students – for our own kids, for your kids, for ALL kids. Angie Gallo joined us early on, stood by our side through thick and thin and continues to advocate on recess with us even today. We can say with 100% certainty that we would not have a recess mandate without Angie. Yes, this was a grassroots effort led by regular moms, but we needed guidance, advice, cheerleading, experience and someone to pound the pavement for our kids when we couldn't be in Tallahassee. Angie was that person,...

"It would be hard to imagine a better school board member than Angie Gallo.  Angie has worked tirelessly for the last 15 years both inside and outside the classroom.  Probably what is most impressive to me is that most of her time was spent lobbying to improve education for all students - not just her own children.  I believe that's a rare quality as most people get involved in education when something affects their own children.  I've seen Angie go to bat to make things better for children all over our state.  She is also on top of what teachers...

TALLAHASSEE — Unwilling to turn school staff into gun-packing “guardians,” some officials across Florida are turning to a controversial alternative to meet the demands of a state law approved after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Read the full story here. The Duval County School Board recently became the second in two weeks to approve hiring and training dozens of new, modestly paid, armed “safety assistants” to protect classrooms. Polk County school officials endorsed hiring 90 “safety specialists” a week earlier — while a host of other counties are now considering the idea. Lawmakers passed a bill this year requiring armed...

PARKLAND, Fla. — Shannon Fest has a modest goal for her 15-year-old daughter this semester: to make it through a full day of school.  See the original article here.   Two months after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, going to class is still a struggle for freshman Lauren Fest. She arrives late every morning and skips lunch because the crowds and loud noises trigger her anxiety attacks. The reminders of what happened — the empty desks in class, the shuttered freshman building where the shooting took place — are inescapable. She goes to therapy both at school...

Orange County, Florida - Today, Angie Gallo announces the endorsement of the Orange County Classroom Teacher Association (CTA). The CTA represents thousands of instructional personnel in Orange County. “As our endorsee, we believe that Angie shares our goals to fight to strengthen public schools, improve employees’ working conditions and salaries, and work to make sure we have the tools and resources needed to ensure student success,” said Wendy Dormal, Orange County CTA President. “I have worked with Wendy and the Orange County CTA for many years on education. We have fought long and hard together to improve education and I am...

The Florida House began talking about School Safety and Guns before lunch today, and is expected to continue the discussion into the early evening, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, a final vote is not expected until tomorrow.  Read the original article here. House members asked probing questions about arming teachers. Rep, Kionee McGee (D-Miami) asked: “Where in your bill does it prevent a school guardian from possessing an AR-15? In response, House Speaker-to-be Jose Oliva said many of the questions were more about delay than information. “But the idea of guarding in a classroom, and having the last line of...

Opponents outnumbered supporters in the crowd but where it mattered most, among those with the power of the vote, HB 1 proponents had a 2-to-1 advantage.  Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Naples, listened patiently while 21 citizens registered opposition to his idea to spend $40 million on private-school vouchers for bullied students. “We are giving parents the information needed to make decisions that are best for their child,” Donalds told an education appropriations subcommittee after the public had a chance to testify. “That’s options. Those are choices. That’s what governing should be about, creating guidelines and creating a system where the people of this...

Over in District 1, candidate Angie Gallo keeps slowly pulling in money. She raised $4,925 in December, bringing her campaign haul to $10,275. So far, Gallo is the best-financed candidate in the race. Behind her is Heather Traynham. This is her second report, and for the month of December and the totality of the race, Traynham has raised $3,000. UPDATE Traynham raised $5000 after providing her report for December. Excerpted from the Orlando Political Observer.  See the full original article here....

Published in Orlando Political Observer. See the article here. Everyone aboard the school board train. Four seats are being contested including school board chair, and there are 13 combined candidates who have filed to run. How’s that for competition? Current Orange County School Board Chair Bill Sublette has announced a run for Orange County mayor, so he’s not seeking another term as chair. Joie Cadle, school board member who represents District 1, isn’t filing for re-election. District 2 is represented by Daryl Flynn; she isn’t returning, and school board member Linda Kobert, District 3, has drawn two challengers. For school board chair, Nancy Robbinson...