Tuesday, March 4, 2014
WEBSITES TO ADD TO YOUR FAVORITES
Each day’s Daily Update, each week’s issue of Boarder-line, each week’s Video Update (featuring Dr. Wayne Blanton), and our Legislative Advocacy Toolkit are all posted at: http://fsba.org/services/government-relations/state-government-relations/information-center
Access live streaming coverage of most legislative committee meetings, action on the Floor of the House and Senate, and other Session events is available on the Florida Channel at: http://thefloridachannel.org/
In the Senate Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee:
SB 160 – Food Distributed Free of Charge by Bullard — PASSED
This bill adds public schools to the list of defined donors protected from civil and criminal liability when they donate food to charitable organizations. The bill has one more committee of reference – Senate Judiciary – before it would be eligible for action by the full Senate. The House companion bill — HB 23 – is also moving and has one more committee stop.
In the Senate Education Committee:
SB 850 – Education / Collegiate High School Programs by Legg – PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
The bill originally required a Florida College System institution to work with each school district in its designated service area to establish a collegiate high school program. Amendments were adopted that substantially expand the scope of this bill by adding provisions relating to juvenile justice education, implementation of an early warning system based on indicators to identify students in need of additional academic support, middle grades reform initiatives, CAPE industry certifications, and other elements.
SB 7060 – Education Accountability by Education Committee – SUBMITTED AS COMMITTEE BILL
This bill provides definitions for the statewide, standardized assessment program and school grading system and provides a plan, based on recommendations by DOE, for the transition to Florida’s revised state standards and new assessments with respect to school grading. Two amendments offered by Senator Legg were approved: The first revises some elements to be considered in calculating high school grades; the second amendment provides a pathway for students with significant disabilities to be exempted from taking statewide standardized assessments. A third amendment by Senator Montford was not considered, in part because it was late filed. That amendment may be offered again when the bill is next considered. This bill addresses several of FSBA’s 2014 Legislative Platform priorities and positions with regard to the state’s performance accountability system.
In the Senate Judiciary Committee:
SB 188 – Education Data Privacy by Hukill – TEMPORARILY POSTPONED
This bill contains provisions to make students and their parents aware of their educational privacy rights and also prohibits the collection — and limits the dissemination — of certain types of information. The bill also requires the replacement of social security numbers with student identification numbers. The issue of student data privacy has raised concerns on both sides of the political aisle and has stirred debate about the appropriate procedures and protocols in the use of technology in providing education related services while safeguarding student data. The House companion to this bill — HB 195 – will be considered by the House Education Committee later this week.
In the House Choice & Innovation Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee held a workshop on reimbursement accounts. These accounts are designed for certain students who are home schooled to access funding for educational and therapeutic services. Eligible students include those who eligible to enroll in grades K-5 (and, going forward, for any student who has an existing reimbursement account – i.e. this could include students in higher grades that enrolled in the program while in grades K-5); who have an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) and is eligible for matrix support levels III-V or has an Educational Plan (EP) from his home school district (this would include gifted students); and who enroll in a home education program. These reimbursement accounts would be funded in the same manner as the John McKay Scholarship Program – i.e. the calculated per student funding amount would be deducted from the school district’s FEFP funding and transferred to a scholarship funding organization. The funding could be used for specialized instructional services consistent with the student’s IEP, tuition/fees for private school instructional services, private tutoring, and other purposes. Today’s workshop was intended as an exploratory discussion about the concept of reimbursement accounts – no official action was taken – but it is likely that this concept will be presented in a proposed committee bill. Also note that there is already a bill filed in the Senate — SB 1512 by Stargel – that addresses this same issue.
In the House and Senate opening day ceremonies:
Senate President Gaetz and House Speaker Weatherford both offered comments and a discussion of their joint workplan before their respective chambers. With regard to K-12 education, both leaders expressed their desire to simplify the school grading system, expand career and technical education, and expand school choice and voucher program options. It is important to note that Senator Gaetz emphasized the need for applying the same accountability measures to students in voucher programs as is applied to students in traditional public schools. Both chambers then convened in the House chamber to receive Governor Scott’s State of the State address. Governor Scott emphasized his desire to provide $500 million in tax cuts this year, to continue to grow jobs in Florida, and to invest in education.
In the Senate afternoon Session:
SB 852 – Education Assessments by Education – NOT CONSIDERED; ADDED TO SPECIAL ORDER CALENDAR FOR 3/11/14
This bill provides that a student who must take a statewide, standardized assessment may not take a district assessment within two weeks before or two weeks after the administration of the statewide, standardized assessment taken by that student. The bill presents significant concerns to school districts regarding the timing for the administration of required local assessments.
COMING UP TOMORROW
The Senate Criminal & Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will meet – 9:00 – 10:30 am; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following item and others:
SB 548 – Bullying by Simmons
This bill creates a criminal statute penalizing bullying/cyberbullying and aggravated bullying/cyberbullying. The newly created statute provides a second degree misdemeanor penalty for bullying/cyberbullying and a first degree misdemeanor penalty for aggravated bullying/cyberbullying.
The Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee will meet – 9:00 – 10:30 am; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following item and others:
SB 732 – Florida Prepaid College Program by Galvano
The bill prohibits the amount of the aggregate sum of registration fees, the tuition differential fee, and local fees paid under an advance payment contract from exceeding a certain percentage of the amount charged by the state university for the aggregate sum of those fees; Similarly, it prohibits the amount of the dormitory fees paid under an advance payment contract from exceeding a certain percentage of the amount charged by the state university for those fees, etc.
The House Education Appropriations Subcommittee will meet – 9:00 – 11:00 am; Florida Channel webcast – to consider:
HB 433 – Educator Certification by Spano
The bill provides requirements for certain instructional personnel who supervise or direct pre-service field experience; revises acceptable means of demonstrating mastery of general knowledge, subject area knowledge, and professional preparation and education competence; revises components of competency-based professional development certification and education competency program; repeals study to compare performance of certain certificate-holders; revises certain requirements for renewal or reinstatement of professional certificate.
HB 533 – Student Eligibility / Athletics by M. Diaz
The bill revises provisions enabling home education, charter school, virtual education, and certain private school students to participate in extracurricular activities at public school; authorizes students attending certain public schools to participate in extracurricular activities at another public school; requires district school board eligibility policies to apply evenly to all students regardless of student’s extracurricular activity; requires FHSAA bylaws to specify that pre-participation physical evaluation form advise students to complete cardiovascular assessment that includes electrocardiogram.
HB 851 – Resident Status for Tuition Purposes by Nuñez
The bill revises certain residency requirements for tuition purposes for dependent children; prohibits denial of classification as resident for tuition purposes based on certain immigration status; revises requirements for documentation of residency and classification as resident; provides that certain persons are not classified as residents for tuition purposes but are not required to pay out-of-state fees; provides requirements for receipt of state financial aid awards or tuition assistance grants.
HB 7033 – Middle Grades Education by K-12
The bill requires a school that includes certain grades to include information in its school improvement plan and implement early warning system to identify students in need of additional academic support; includes middle grades schools under provisions prohibiting hazing; revises penalties; specifies requirements relating to additional FTE funding based on completion of courses or programs and issuance of industry certification; provides requirements for professional development for middle grades educators. [NOTE: Much of the content of this bill was amended on to SB 850 in today’s Senate Education Committee meeting (discussed above).]
HB 7057 – Career & Charter Technical Career Centers by Education
The bill authorizes career center and charter technical career center to offer college credit courses applicable toward specific certificates or degrees; provides process for approval to offer specific degree programs; renames and clarifies applied technology diploma program; revises and clarifies tuition and fees for specific workforce education programs.
The Senate Finance & Tax Subcommittee will meet – 11:00 am – 12:30 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following item and others:
SB 66 – Discretionary Sales Surtaxes by Flores
The bill authorizes a county defined in s. 125.011(1), F.S., (currently this identifies Miami-Dade County only) to levy a surtax up to a specified amount for the benefit of a Florida College System institution and a state university in the county pursuant to an ordinance conditioned to take effect upon approval in a county referendum, etc.
The Senate General Government Appropriations Subcommittee will meet – 11:00 am – 12:30 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following item and others:
SB 564 – Security for Public Deposits by Richter
The bill clarifies provisions relating to public deposits that are exempt from state security requirements; provides that a notice of the default or insolvency of a qualified public depository is not required if the Florida public deposits are acquired by another insured depository; provides that the depository institution acquiring the Florida public deposits is subject to certain requirements; provides that a protection from loss is effective when a public depositor does not comply with certain provisions under specified circumstances, etc.
The House K-12 Subcommittee will meet – 1:00 – 3:00 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider:
HB 87 – Fine Arts Courses by McBurney
The bill requires Commissioner of Education to prepare annual report relating to student access to and participation in fine arts courses and information on educators, facilities, and instruction in such courses.
HB 297 – Bright Futures Scholarship Program by Rangel
The bill requires that instructional staff of public schools provide instruction to students about terrorist attacks occurring on September 11, 2001, and the impact of those events.
HB 707 – Background Screening by M. Diaz
The bill provides additional offenses that determine ineligibility for educator certification or employment; revises requirements for submission, retention, search, and reporting of fingerprints of educational personnel and contractors; provides for FDLE participation in national retained print arrest notification program.
The Senate Community Affairs Committee will meet – 1:30 – 3:30 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following items and others:
SB 358 – Volunteers / Organized Youth Sports by Ring
The bill expands provisions relating to athletic coaches for independent sanctioning authorities to require youth sports or recreation authorities to conduct specified background screening of all volunteers with any youth athletic team or organized youth recreational program using publicly owned facilities; prohibits a youth sports or recreation authority from delegating such duty; requiring that specified documentation be maintained for a specified period by such authorities, etc.
SB 846 – Governmental Ethics by Latvala
The bill specifies the applicability of certain provisions of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees to members of the executive council of the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation; requires an officer required to participate in annual ethics training to certify participation on his or her full and public disclosure of financial interests; specifies the applicability of certain provisions of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees to division officers of Enterprise Florida, Inc., etc.
SB 806 – Value Adjustment Board Proceedings by Bradley
The bill requires the clerk of the value adjustment board to have available and distribute specified forms; authorizes the owner of multiple items of tangible personal property to file a joint petition with the value adjustment board under certain circumstances; requires the property appraiser to include the property record card in an evidence list for a value adjustment board hearing under certain circumstances, etc.
The House Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee will meet – 4:00 – 6:00 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following items and others:
HB 355 – Instructional Materials Affordability by Porter
The bill revises textbook affordability policies & procedures to include other instructional materials; requires policies & procedures to be adopted by Florida College System institutions & state universities; requires institution to post information on course schedule relating to required & recommended textbooks & costs; requires recommendations to Governor & Legislature to reduce student costs.
HB 487 – Agricultural Industry Certifications by Raburn
The bill requires DOACS to annually provide to SBE & DOE industry certifications for farm occupations to be placed on industry certification funding lists; defines industry certification as part of career education programs; requires rules for implementing industry certification process for farm occupations; requires placement on funding lists to determine annual funding distributeons to school districts & postsecondary institutions.
HB 147 – Concrete Masonry Education by Caldwell
The bill designates act as “Concrete Masonry Education Act; creates Florida Concrete Masonry Education Council, Inc.; provides powers & duties of council; provides for appointment & terms of council’s governing board; authorizes council to accept grants, donations, contributions, & gifts; authorizes council to make payments to other organizations; provides for collection of voluntary assessment on concrete masonry units; requires manufacturers who elect to pay assessment to commit to paying assessment for specified period; requires council to adopt bylaws.
IN THE NEWS
redefined – 3/4/14
Florida lawmakers to consider suite of school choice bills
Marco Island Sun Times – 3/1/14
State retirement plans may change