March 10, 2014
STATE BUDGET DEVELOPMENT
House Speaker Weatherford released a DRAFT budget development timeline that calls for the House Appropriations bill and related Implementing and Conforming bills to be released by Friday, March 21 – these bills will then be considered by the full House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, March 26. This means that next week the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee will be drafting their section of the state budget. Although it will still be a “work in progress”, we will make every effort to provide as much detailed education budget information as possible during our Day in the Legislature Conference. The Senate has not yet release a budget development timeline, but it is expected to be similar to the House timeline.
In the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee released preliminary 2014-2015 base budget spreadsheets, but the focus of the meeting was to review the Florida Broadband Map developed by the Department of Management Services (DMS). This interactive Broadband Map has been developed, among other purposes, to gauge school district access to bandwidth necessary to support the delivery of digital instruction, the administration of online statewide assessments, and other technological needs. The state standard for sufficient bandwidth is for each FTE to have access to 1 megabyte of bandwidth. According to DMS, only a few districts are anywhere close to achieving this standard and it is expected that the standard will not be met until 2017-2018 unless significant resources are directed to expedite meeting the standard. Obviously, this has a profound impact on planning and funding for the transition to new accountability measures. You may access the Broad Band Map at http://map.broadbandfla.com/. [NOTE: The Map has not yet been adapted for viewing on mobile devices, but a mobile version is expected to be available shortly.]. We have also posted the DMS presentation on this project in our 2014 Legislative Session Information Center at http://fsba.org/services/government-relations/state-government-relations/information-center.
In the Senate Criminal Justice Committee:
SB 968 – School Safety by Hays – PASSED WITH A CS
This bill authorizes school principals and district school superintendents to designate employees and/or volunteers to carry concealed firearms on school campuses or in district administrative buildings. The bill requires that designees meet criteria set forth in the bill including having either a military or law enforcement background, successful
completion of a training program, and additional screening as required by the principal or superintendent. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will design and administer the training as set forth in the bill. FSBA is opposed to this bill. Dr. Blanton testified on the bill today to express our support for having armed and uniformed law enforcement professionals assigned to each school site and to express our concerns that the bill will present a poor example to impressionable students and that training cannot convert classroom teachers or other personnel into trained law enforcement professionals. Other speakers outlined additional concerns about circumventing local school board authority, the burden of responsibility that this places on school personnel, the inappropriateness of inviting firearms on school campuses, and liability issues.
COMING UP TOMORROW
The House Ethics & Elections Subcommittee will meet – 8:30-9:30am, Florida Channel
webcast (available at http://thefloridachannel.org/) to consider the following item and others:
HB 571 – Residency of Candidates & Public Officers by Rodriguez
Requires candidate or public officer required to reside in specific geographic area to have only one domicile at a time; provides factors that may be considered when determining residency; provides exceptions for active duty military members; preempting certain local residency requirements for candidates & public officers.
The House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will meet – 9:30-11:30 am; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following item and others:
HB 485 – Sexual Misconduct with Students by Raburn
Designates act the “Stop Harassing Underage Teens Act”; provides for reclassification of specified sexual offenses committed against students by authority figure of school; provides for severity ranking of offenses.
–to consider the following items and others on Special Order (2nd Reading):
SB 532–Disclosure of Sexually Explicit Images by Simmons
Prohibiting an individual from disclosing a sexually explicit image of an identifiable person with the intent to harass such person if the individual knows or should have known such person did not consent to the disclosure; requiring a court to order that a person convicted of such offense be prohibited from having contact with the victim; providing criminal penalties for a violation of such order; providing that criminal penalties for certain offenses run consecutively with a sentence imposed for a violation of specified provisions, etc.
SB 196 – Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 by Margolis
Urges the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 or similar legislation that authorizes states to collect sales tax on sales by remote retailers. This bill is aligned with FSBA’s federal and state legislative platform positions.
SB 852 – Education Assessments by Education
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. In addition to presenting significant logistical problems to school districts, this bill may also compromise the fairness and validity of local assessment results as compared to statewide assessment results.
The House Choice & Innovation Subcommittee will meet – 12:30-2:30 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider:
CIS-2 – Florida Personalized Account Program
This Proposed Committee Bill is the result of the workshop on this topic held by the Choice & Innovation Subcommittee last week. To bring it into closer alignment with its Senate companion bill, the PCB contains some revisions from the outline discussed last week that would limit the number and type of student that would be eligible for this program. As currently drafted, the bill establishes the Florida Personal Learning Account program (account) to provide parents of students with disabilities flexibility to
attend a public or private school. To be eligible for an account, a student must be a Florida resident, must be eligible to enroll in kindergarten through 5th grade or have received an account in the previous year, must be identified as having autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, an intellectual disability, Prader-Willi syndrome, or Spina bifida, or for a student in kindergarten, as a high-risk child, and must have an individual educational plan (IEP) and be eligible for FEFP matrix support levels IV or V. The parent may then use funds from the account to obtain reimbursement for educational services provided to the student and, if any funds remain after educational services are purchased, they may be used for other medical services for the student. Account funding is calculated using the same calculation as the McKay Scholarship program – i.e. funds will be deducted from the assigned school district’s FEFP and transferred to an SFO. All service providers must be approved by DOE and the student’s
educational progress must be evaluated annually in a manner that is identical to the home education law. The fiscal impact on state government is estimated at $8.8 million based upon estimates of the number of home schooled and private school students who would be eligible for this program that are not currently funded, or fully funded, through the FEFP. This figure DOES NOT reflect the loss of FEFP funding for school districts. FSBA has a number of concerns about this proposed bill, not the least of which is the creation of another voucher program in Florida that will divert funds from the public school system. Although there are legitimate concerns about how best to deliver
educational and therapeutic services to students with significant disabilities, these services are, and have been, successfully delivered in public schools, so the need for a separate service delivery system is questionable, at best. [NOTE: The Senate companion to this PCB — SB 1512 — will be the subject of a workshop later on Tuesday in the Senate Education Committee.]
The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee will meet – 12:30-2:30 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following item and others:
HB 159 – Mental Health First Aid Training Program by Berman
The bill requires the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to establish a mental health first aid training program intended to train individuals to identify and understand the signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders and help someone who is developing or experiencing a mental health or substance use problem. The bill directs that training be provided through contract providers and that first priority for the training be given to the staff of schools.
The Senate Education Committee will meet – 1:30-3:30 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following items and others:
SB 530 – Instructional Materials Affordability by Flores
Revising textbook affordability policies and procedures to include other instructional materials; requiring an institution to post on its course schedule information relating to required and recommended textbooks and other instructional materials and cost information; requiring the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors of the State University System to submit recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature to reduce student costs; requiring the Florida Virtual Campus to report textbook and other instructional materials affordability policies and procedures and bookstore contracts, etc.
SB 598 – Juvenile Justice Education Programs by Bean
Revising requirements for the multiagency career education plan for students in juvenile justice education programs; requiring the Department of Juvenile Justice to provide cost and effectiveness information for education programs and program activities to the Legislature and to the public; expanding access to certain student records held by a district school system to all instructional personnel in juvenile justice education programs, etc. [NOTE: The House companion bill — HB 173 – is discussed below above under the House Session]
SB 864 – Instructional Materials / Adoption by Hays
Eliminates the state-level instructional materials review, selection and adoption process; identifies parameters for district school boards to select and provide adequate instructional materials for K-12 public school students; revises existing state-level review process to apply to a district-level process; creates additional transparency and accountability provisions for district school board adoption of instructional materials,
including the ability for public review and comment. FSBA is opposed to this bill. There is already an option for local text book adoption if a school district wishes to pursue it so the bill is unnecessary. More important, the bill will significantly increase district costs, place an unsupportable burden on districts in terms of personnel, time, and training, and would threaten the validity of state and local assessment systems.
SB 886 – Teachers Classroom Supply Program by Montford
Revises provisions of the Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program to provide flexibility for school districts to distribute funds to classroom teachers sooner for the purchase of supplemental materials and supplies for public school students assigned to them.
SB 950 – Educator Certification by Stargel
Deleting obsolete provisions relating to acceptable means of demonstrating mastery of professional development; revising acceptable means of demonstrating mastery of subject area knowledge; revising components of a competency-based professional development certification program; revising certain requirements for the renewal or reinstatement of a professional certificate, etc.
Workshop on SB 1512 – Students with Disabilities by Stargel
Establishing the Florida Personalized Accounts for Learning; specifying criteria for students who are eligible to participate in the program; prohibiting specific providers, schools, institutions, school districts, and other entities from sharing, refunding, or rebating program funds; prohibiting specific providers, schools, institutions, school districts, and other entities from sharing, refunding, or rebating program funds, etc. [NOTE: The House companion and FSBA’s concerns about this bill are discussed above under the meeting of the House Choice & Innovation Subcommittee.]
The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet – 1:30-3:30 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following items and others:
SB 188 – Education Data Privacy by Hukill
Providing for annual notice to K-12 students and parents of rights relating to education records; providing limitations on the collection of information and the disclosure of confidential and exempt student records; revising provisions relating to the submission of student social security numbers and the assignment of student identification numbers; requiring the Department of Education to establish a process for assigning student identification numbers, etc. Concern about the data security, particularly the security of personally identifiable student data, has united advocates on both sides of the political aisle. FSBA has expressed concern about ensuring that student data is not made available to vendors or other inappropriate groups or individuals.
SB 160 – Food Distributed Free of Charge by Bullard
Limiting the liability of public schools with respect to canned or perishable food donated to charitable or nonprofit organizations, etc.
The Senate Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities Committee will meet – 2:00-3:00 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following item and others:
SB 1076 – Electrical Power or Energy / PECO by Flores
The bill provides a business energy tax reduction and redirects the remaining energy tax revenue as gross receipts tax revenue to be deposited as a bondable source of revenue to support PECO. This bill is based on recommendations developed by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. FSBA has supported this bill in concept for identifying a new revenue stream to rejuvenate PECO funding. However, our support is contingent upon assurances that traditional public schools will be awarded a fair share of the generated PECO revenue.
The House will be in SESSION – 3:00-6:00 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following items and others on Special Order (2nd Reading):
HB 7031 – Education / Repeal / Revise / Audits by K-12
Revises & repeals various provisions relating to education; revises course & assessment requirements for promotion to high school & for award of standard high school diploma; provides course & assessment requirements for graduation for certain cohorts of high school students transitioning to new graduation requirements; revises & conforms provisions relating to selection & purchase of instructional materials, statewide assessment program, education personnel, & educational facilities. This bill is intended as a SB 1076 “glitch” bill. Among other things, the bill attempts to correct inconsistencies created in SB 1076 for certain cohorts of students with regard to required course, testing, and graduation requirements.
HB 173 – Juvenile Justice Education Programs by Adkins
Revises requirements for multiagency education plan for students in juvenile justice education programs; revises requirements effective education programs for youth in DJJ programs; revises contract & cooperative agreement requirements for delivery of appropriate education services to youth in DJJ programs; revises requirements for activities to be coordinated by coordinators for juvenile justice education programs; requires that educational program shall be based on each youth’s reentry plan & assessed needs; provides requirements for prevention & day-treatment juvenile justice education programs; requires progress monitoring plans for all non-exceptional student students; requires that DOE, in partnership with DJJ, ensure that school
districts & juvenile justice education providers develop educational transition plans; requires DOE to establish student performance measures & program performance ratings; requires comprehensive accountability & school improvement process; provides requirements for such process. [NOTE: The Senate companion bill — SB 598 – is discussed above under the Senate Education Committee]
HB 277 – Joint Use of Public School Facilities by Spano
Authorizes district school boards to enter into joint-use agreements or adopt public access policies; provides immunity from liability for district school board that enters into joint-use agreement or adopts public access policies except in instances of gross negligence or intentional misconduct; provides applicability.
The Senate Community Affairs Committee will meet – 4:00-6:00 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following item and others:
SB 718 – Public Meetings by Legg
Requiring that the notice of a public meeting include a description of each matter to be considered at such meeting; prohibiting the board or commission of an agency or authority of the state, a county, a municipality, or a political subdivision from acting upon a matter at a public meeting which was not included in the notice of such meeting; providing an exception for certain emergency matters upon the approval of a super majority of the members of the board or commission, etc. Though this bill may be well intended, it would create logistical problems and would substantially increase district
costs to meet the requirements for the meeting notice.
IN THE NEWS
Sunshine State News – 3/7/14
Voucher bill gets backing in party-line vote
Tampa Tribune – 3/6/14
Ban on bio-scans of Pinellas students moves to full House
Panama City NBC News – 3/6/14
Pop Tarts and zero tolerance