By OVPSA President, Debbie Thibodeaux
Dear Virtual Public School Family,
Welcome back to school! This is an exciting time for students and parents as we kick off the 2016-2017 school year. My name is Debbie Thibodeaux. I am the President of the Oregon Virtual Public Schools Alliance (OVPSA), a coalition of virtual school families and supporters dedicated to the long-term viability of virtual public schools in Oregon. I have three children enrolled in virtual public school and for the last seven years, I have been actively involved in advocating on behalf of Oregon virtual public school families.
I want to commend all of our parents who have worked hard to educate state policymakers about the importance of virtual public schools. The Oregon State Legislature will continue to debate virtual public education during the 2017 legislative session, and it is important that we remain vigilant in our efforts to advocate for our schools! There are some who oppose public school options, like virtual charters, and have attempted to limit enrollment or cut funding. We have successfully managed to beat back these efforts thanks to our parents’ involvement.
The mission of the OVPSA is to:
- provide parent access and choice in virtual public schools
- ensure sustainable funding
- insist on quality programs and
- demand accountability from both the public school system and our schools
If we are to continue to make progress towards these founding principles, your parent voice needs to be a part of the public debate. Otherwise state policymakers will only hear from those who may not have your children’s interests at heart. Remember, “if we are not at the table, we are likely on the menu.”
Action steps for you:
- Go to our website and sign up for our updates about the public debate surrounding virtual education.
- "Like” our Facebook page.
- Attend our Virtual Public Schools Capitol Day, which will be held in Salem on March 7, 2017. This is a great opportunity to meet other virtual school families and learn about our state government! (Stay tuned: I will be sharing more information about Capitol Day in the coming weeks.)
Thank you so much for your participation and support. I look forward to working with you to protect and promote virtual public schools in Oregon. If you would like to play an active role in advocating for our schools, please email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will let you know how you can get involved!
Parent to Jordan – 8th grade, Baker Web Academy
Michaela – 6th grade, Baker Web Academy
Zach – 2nd grade, Oregon Virtual Academ