TALLAHASSEE — The Legislature sent a massive omnibus education bill to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk on Friday after spending the final hours of the 2016 legislative session negotiating privately and trading several amendments that were each more than a hundred pages long.
The House voted 82-33 on Friday to pass a heavily amended HB 7029, a so-called “train” that combines a series of contentious education policies that were priorities of both chambers. Lawmakers rewrote the bill several times during the last week.
If approved by the governor, the final bill would allow students to transfer to any public schools in the state that aren’t at capacity, create a new distribution formula for charter school capital funding that favors those that serve poor and disabled students and let charters get access to capital funding after two years instead of three. The bill would also codify performance-funding metrics for state universities, change eligibility rules for high school athletes and let individual school board members choose which membership association they want to join.