Today, the House Appropriations Subcommittee chairs released their budget proposals for their specific budget areas. The initial proposal submitted by House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee chair Manny Diaz provides more than $21 billion in FEFP funding — an increase of more than $506.8 million or 2.46%. This increase is due, in part, by allowing the Required Local Effort (RLE) millage rate to capture property value increases attributable to new construction and related property improvements — this provides more than $108 million of the $506.8 million increase. This is a departure from the prior House policy to roll back the millage rate so that it would produce no more revenue than the prior year. Other key elements of the proposed PreK-12 budget proposal include a $75 increase (1.79%) in the Base Student Allocation and a $100 increase (1.37%) in total FEFP funds per student. You may review the Subcommittee’s FEFP Funding Summary HERE. Once the Senate has released their budget area proposals, we will provide more details and a comparison of the House and Senate proposed education funding levels. Please keep in mind that this is still very early in the budget process and provisions are likely to change.
In other business today, legislators considered several bills of interest including bills relating to personalized education, computer science instruction, student transportation, financial literacy, and early learning. Please click on the link below for more information on the schedule and bills that were considered today. Tomorrow, in addition to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees discussing their budget proposals, legislators will consider several bills of interest including, most notably, school board member term limits. Please click on the link below for the schedule and bills that will be considered tomorrow.
In the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee meeting, Subcommittee Chair Manny Diaz released his Budget Proposal for FY 2018-2019 (discussed above). In addition, Chair Diaz reviewed the Subcommittee’s proposed funding conforming bill:
PKA1 – PreK-12 Education Funding by PreK-12 Appropriations – SUBMITTED AS A COMMITTEE BILL
The bill conforms applicable statutes to the appropriations provided in the House proposed General Appropriations Act for Prekindergarten through grade 12 education for Fiscal Year 2018-2019. The bill:
- Modifies the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) by:
- Deleting the requirement that the 300 lowest-performing elementary schools on the statewide reading assessment must use their portion of the Supplemental Academic Instruction (SAI) allocation to implement an extra hour of reading instruction.
- Requiring that schools who earned a grade of “D” or “F” pursuant to s. 1008.33, F.S., use their portion of the SAI allocation to implement the required intervention and support strategies for school improvement as listed in current law.
- Requiring that for the Research-based Reading Instruction allocation only a school that earned a grade of “D” or “F” pursuant to s. 1008.33, F.S., must submit a comprehensive reading plan for review and approval by the Department of Education as part of the department’s monitoring, intervention, and support strategies required under s. 1008.33, F.S.
- Requiring that for the Research-based Reading Instruction allocation the designation of the 300 lowest-performing elementary schools on the statewide reading assessment be based on a three-year average of the assessment data.
- Modifies the Principal Autonomy Pilot Program Initiative by:
- Expanding the program to all school districts who apply and receive approval by the State Board of Education and deleting the term “pilot”.
- Basing participation in the program upon available funds and on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Deleting the specific appropriation amount for school districts’ attendance at a national recognized school turnaround training program and making the provision subject to an annual appropriation.
- Deleting the reporting requirement upon completion of the first 3-year pilot term.
- Clarifies the calculation methodology for the distribution of the discretionary 1.5 millage revenue to eligible charter schools by clarifying that the debt service obligation that can be reduced from the distribution is the debt service obligation incurred by March 1, 2017, which has not been subsequently retired.
- Allows for the carry forward of undisbursed Schools of Hope Program funds for up to five years.
[NOTE: The Subcommittee reviewed their Proposed Committee Bill (PCB) and approved it to be filed as HB 5101. As yet, there is no Senate companion bill.]
In the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting, Subcommittee chair Larry Ahern released his Budget Proposal for FY 2018-2019.
In the House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee meeting:
HB 839 – Display of the State Motto by Daniels — PASSED
The bill requires each district school board to adopt rules that require all schools and all buildings used by the school board to display in a conspicuous place the state motto: In God We Trust. [NOTE: This was the first of two committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill – SB 1158 – is similar but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
HB 1035 – Personalized Education by Sullivan — PASSED
- Renames the Competency-Based Education Pilot Program to the Mastery-Based Education Pilot Program and allows any district in the state to apply to the DOE for participation. The pilot program is for five years.
- Provides that school districts participating in the Mastery-Based Education Pilot Program may award credit as a student demonstrates mastery of the core content and skills, consistent with the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, rather than awarding credit only if the student receives 135 or 120 hours of instruction. Participating districts may also use an alternative interpretation of letter grades to measure student success in grades 6 – 12.
- Provides that, beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, districts currently participating in the program may amend their application to include alternatives for awarding credit and alternatives for the interpretation of middle and high school grades. Applications that are amended must be approved by the district school board. Districts applying for the first time would include these requests in their initial application.
- Requires the statewide articulation agreement to ensure fair and equitable access for high school graduates with mastery-based, nontraditional diplomas and transcripts.
[NOTE: This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill — SB 968 – is similar but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
HB 1213 – Computer Science Instruction by Porter — PASSED
Defines computer science and includes computer coding and programming in the definition;
- Requires the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to identify computer science courses in the Course Code Directory and on its website by July 1, 2018;
- Establishes a progressive schedule by which school districts must offer computer science courses identified by the DOE so that at least 10 percent of a school district’s total middle schools, high schools, and combination schools with grades 6-12 offer a computer science course by the 2020-2021 school year;
- Specifies that school districts with fewer than 10 middle schools, high schools, and combination schools must have at least one school offer an identified computer science course by the 2020-2021 school year;
- Requires Florida Virtual School (FLVS) to offer computer science courses so students enrolled in a school without a computer science course can receive computer science instruction;
- Requires school districts to offer students access to computer science courses through FLVS or by other means;
- Allows student enrollment in computer science courses offered by charter schools and FLVS to count toward a district’s computer science course requirements;
- Establishes a grant program to help teachers earn a computer science educator certificate or industry certification and for paying associated examination fees;
- Establishes a bonus program to award qualifying teachers, on a yearly basis for up to 3 years, who teach computer science courses identified by the DOE;
- Establishes a needs-based technology grant for school districts whose Digital Classrooms Allocation funds are insufficient to meet costs associated with the allocation and who have no remaining instructional materials; and
- Requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules to implement these provisions.
[NOTE: The bill sponsor, Rep. Porter, stated that charter schools are not required to teach computer science, but if a charter school does offer this instruction, the school would be eligible for grant funding and bonuses. This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill — SB 1056 – is similar and has passed one of three committees of reference.]
HB 1299 – Public School Transportation by Raburn — PASSED
- Requires districts to provide transportation to students whose homes are more than 1.5 miles from the nearest appropriate school, rather than students whose homes are “more than a reasonable distance” or are 2 miles or more from the school and authorizes districts to report these students for transportation funding to the state.
- Allows all students in grades K-12 to be transported and funded if they are subject to hazardous walking conditions.
- Revises criteria for determining hazardous walking conditions with regard to the number of lanes and speed limits.
- Requires the superintendent to request a review of specified roads if he or she receives a written request from a parent of a student in the district school.
- Requires, rather than authorizes, a district school board to initiate a proceeding to determine whether a condition constitutes a hazardous walking condition, if the governmental representatives were unable to reach a consensus on the initial request.
[NOTE: It is important to note that, in response to concerns raised in discussion and testimony, the bill sponsor, Rep. Raburn, acknowledged that the state currently provides only about 40% of the current costs of student transportation and he stated that he would not move the bill forward without addressing this significant funding issue. Also note that the House initial FEFP funding proposal provided only a 1% increase in transportation funding. This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill — SB 188 – is similar but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
HB 829 – The McKay Scholarships by Plasencia – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
The bill extends McKay Scholarship eligibility to students who receive a diagnosis of a qualifying disability from a licensed physician or psychologist and to students who are enrolled and counted for funding in a public school’s October or February FEFP survey immediately prior to participation, instead of enrollment for an entire school year. In addition, the bill requires parents to provide school districts with documentation of a physician’s diagnosis of a student’s disability and requires school districts to notify the Department of Education of receipt of the diagnosis when the parent requests a McKay Scholarship from the school district. [NOTE: The Subcommittee took up and passed a Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) for the bill. The short summary above reflects the provisions of the PCS. This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill — SB 1080 – is identical but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
In the House PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee meeting:
HB 951 – Education/Early Learning/VPK by Fischer – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A CS
- Requires each provider to give parents the results of the pre- and post-assessments, including any resources that might be helpful to their students within 10 days after the assessments are administered. The results must be reported at the aggregate level, distributed to the respective Early Learning Coalition (ELC) and district and displayed on the Office of Early Learning (OEL) webpage 30 days after the assessments are administered.
- Authorizes a child who has completed a VPK program, but is determined to be at risk of not attaining the adopted performance standards, to reenroll in a school-year VPK program offered by a provider that has met the minimum readiness standards.
- Establishes OEL requirements to ensure the implementation of student reenrollment.
[NOTE: Today’s amendment was a technical clarification. This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill – SB 1192 – is similar but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
HB 1091 – Early Learning by Grall – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A CS
The bill revises provisions related to the School Readiness program by:
- Expanding the definition of “at-risk” for eligibility purposes;
- Requiring Office of Early Learning (OEL) to adopt program assessment requirements that measure teacher-child interactions;
- Requiring OEL to revise the statewide provider contract to include contracted slots and quality improvement strategies, if applicable, and program assessment requirements;
- Requiring OEL to coordinate with the Department of Children and Families to triennially evaluate accrediting agencies under the Gold Seal Quality Care program and provide a 20 percent payment differential for accredited School Readiness providers who meet certain criteria;
- Requiring OEL’s annual report to include certain program assessment information;
- Requiring ELCs to establish local eligibility priorities and include them in their biennial School Readiness plans;
- Requiring an ELC’s biennial plan to include procedures for the use of contracted slots, a description of quality improvement strategies, and the results of a community needs assessment;
- Requiring School Readiness providers to participate in a program assessment and quality improvement strategies, as required; and
- Allows for the awarding of grants and financial supports to providers and instructors to meet program assessment requirements.
[NOTE: This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill – SB 1254 – is similar but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
HB 323 – High School Graduation Requirements/Financial Literacy by Fitzenhagen
- Eliminates financial literacy instruction from the one-half credit economics requirement and establishes a one-half credit financial literacy course as an additional elective.
- Requires students to be provided an opportunity to learn personal financial literacy and specifies that financial literacy includes instruction on:
- types of bank accounts offered, opening and managing a bank account, and assessing the quality of a depository institution’s services;
- balancing a checkbook;
- basic principles of money management, such as spending, credit, credit scores, and managing debt, including retail and credit card debt;
- completing a loan application;
- receiving an inheritance and related implications;
- basic principles of personal insurance policies;
- computing federal income taxes;
- local tax assessments;
- computing interest rates by various mechanisms;
- simple contracts;
- contesting an incorrect billing statement;
- types of savings and investments; and
- state and federal laws concerning finance.
- Requires the Department of Education to identify freely available assessments or certificates that enable a student to demonstrate proficiency in personal finance literacy without taking the course.
[NOTE: This was the first of two committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill – SB 88 – is similar, has passed the Senate, and is in Messages to the House.]
In the House Gov’t Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee meeting:
GOT2 – Statewide Travel Management System by GOTA – SUBMITTED AS A COMMITTEE BILL
The bill amends statutes pertaining to per diem and travel expenses of public officers, employees, and authorized persons, codifying current travel expenditure limits into law and providing for the public reporting of travel expenditures. Specifically, the bill:
- Limits to $150 the amount that may be reimbursed per day for travel lodging expenses for employees of state agencies and the judicial branch under certain circumstances;
- Establishes the Statewide Travel Management System (system) in law;
- Requires all executive branch state government agencies and the judicial branch to report public officer and employee travel information in the system;
- Requires that all executive branch state government agencies and the judicial branch use the system for purposes of travel authorization and reimbursement.
- Requires “reporting entities”, which are defined in the bill to include municipalities, counties, local constitutional officers, county school districts, state colleges, state universities, and water management districts, to report monthly, all public officer and employee travel information resulting from an overnight stay in the system;
- Establishes a timeline for the Department of Management Services (DMS) to make travel reports for executive branch state government agencies, the judicial branch, and certain reporting entities available for public view;
- Requires reporting entities to redact confidential and exempt information from travel reports prior to posting them to the system and provides a process for reporting entities to follow when a travel report has been posted prior to proper redaction; and,
- Provides rulemaking authority to the DMS to administer provisions of the section pertaining to the system.
[NOTE: The Subcommittee reviewed their Proposed Committee Bill (PCB) and approved it to be submitted as HB 5203. There is no direct Senate companion bill.]
In the House Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee meeting:
HB 79 – Public Meetings by Roth — PASSED
- Defines “de facto meeting” as the use of board or commission staff or third parties, acting as intermediaries, to facilitate a discussion of public business between or among board or commission members.
- Clarifies that de facto meetings are subject to the Sunshine Law.
- Specifies that members of the same board or commission may participate in fact-finding exercises or excursions to research public business, and may participate in meetings with a member of the Legislature, if:
- The board or commission provides reasonable notice;
- A vote, an official act, or an agreement regarding an action at a future meeting does not occur;
- There is no discussion of “public business” that occurs; and
- There are appropriate records, minutes, audio recordings, or video recordings made and retained as a public record.
- Provides that, if there is a gathering of two or more board members where no official acts are taken and no public business is discussed, then no public notice or access is required.
[NOTE: This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill – SB 192 – is similar, has passed all House committees of reference, and has been placed on the House Calendar on 2nd Reading.]
HB 977 – Retirement of Instructional and Administrative Personnel by Fine — PASSED
The bill provides that effective July 1, 2018, instructional personnel who are authorized to extend Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) participation beyond the 60-month period must have a termination date that is the last day of the last calendar month of the school year within the DROP extension granted by the employer. For those employees who have already extended DROP on or before July 1, 2018, the member’s DROP participation may be extended through the last day of the last calendar month of that school year. The employer must notify the division of the change in termination date and the additional period of DROP participation for the affected instructional personnel. In addition, administrative personnel in grades K-12 who have a DROP termination date on or after July 1, 2018, may be authorized to extend DROP participation beyond the initial 60 calendar month period if the administrative personnel’s termination date is before the end of the school year. Such administrative personnel may have DROP participation extended until the last day of the last calendar month of the school year in which their original DROP termination date occurred. [NOTE: This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill – SB 1240 – is similar and has passed one of three committees of reference.]
In the Senate Community Affairs Committee meeting:
SB 858 – Daylight Saving Time by Steube – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A CS
The bill exempts the State of Florida and all of its political subdivisions from daylight saving time and requires that the state and its political subdivisions observe standard time. In addition, the bill provides that, as soon as practicable, the Legislature of the State of Florida shall submit a request to the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation to initiate rulemaking to redesignate those portions of Florida that currently lie within the Central Time Zone to the Eastern Time Zone. [NOTE: Today’s amendment added a provision to pursue designating the entire state of Florida as being within the Eastern Time Zone. The short summary above reflects the provisions of the bill as amended. This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. There is no direct House companion bill.]
In the Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee meeting:
SB 1240 – Retirement of Instructional and Administrative Personnel by Mayfield – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A CS
The bill provides that effective July 1, 2018, instructional personnel who are authorized to extend Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) participation beyond the 60-month period must have a termination date that is the last day of the last calendar month of the school year within the DROP extension granted by the employer. For those employees who have already extended DROP on or before July 1, 2018, the member’s DROP participation may be extended through the last day of the last calendar month of that school year. The employer must notify the division of the change in termination date and the additional period of DROP participation for the affected instructional personnel. In addition, administrative personnel in grades K-12 who have a DROP termination date on or after July 1, 2018, may be authorized to extend DROP participation beyond the initial 60 calendar month period if the administrative personnel’s termination date is before the end of the school year. Such administrative personnel may have DROP participation extended until the last day of the last calendar month of the school year in which their original DROP termination date occurred. In addition, the bill provides that beginning March 31, 2018, an employee of a dependent special district or a not-for-profit corporation or association created by the Board of County Commissioners of Escambia County for the purpose of owning, operating, or managing a public bus transit system, may elect to participate in the Florida Retirement System and such employees who are hired on or after March 31, 2018, shall be required to participate in the Florida Retirement System. [NOTE: Today’s amendment authorizes certain employees in Escambia County may be eligible to participate in the Florida Retirement System. The short summary above reflects the provisions of the bill as amended. This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill — HB 977 – is similar and has passed one of three committees of reference.]
In the Health Policy Committee meeting:
SB 1680 – Immunization Registry by Montford – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A CS
The bill requires certain health care practitioners to report vaccination administration data to the Department of Health (DOH) immunization registry when vaccinating children or students at student health care facilities at a Florida College System institution or state university. The bill removes a parent’s or guardian’s ability to opt a child out of the immunization registry.
The reporting of the vaccination data to the registry for other persons is permitted, but not required. The bill also requires school boards, and private school governing bodies, to establish and enforce a policy requiring that, before a child may attend a public or private school, they must have on file a Florida Certification of Immunization (FCI) with the DOH immunization registry. [NOTE: Today’s amendment was generally technical and clarifying in nature. This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill — HB 1045 – is similar but has not been heard in any of the three committees of reference.]
The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee will meet, 8:00 – 11:00 am, to consider the following items and others:
HB 621 – School Safety by Rommel
The bill provides an exception to the prohibition against a licensee carrying a concealed firearm or weapon in certain locations, including schools and colleges, by authorizing school principals and district school superintendents to designate certain persons to carry a concealed weapon or firearm on school property. A designee must submit proof that he or she has completed a minimum of 40 hours of a school safety program and annually complete 8 hours of active shooter training and 4 hours of firearm proficiency training. Persons eligible to be a designee are defined as:
- Current and veteran members of the United States Armed Forces who have not been found to have committed a firearms-related disciplinary infraction during his or her military service;
- A current or former law enforcement officer who has not been found to have committed a firearms-related disciplinary infraction during his or her law enforcement service; or
- Persons in possession of a valid license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm.
The bill allows a school to create a school safety program for employees and volunteers. Volunteers will be required to provide proof of certain training and undergo a level 2 background screening before becoming a designee to carry a concealed weapon or firearm on school property. To maintain designee status, volunteers will need to be re-screened every 5 years and complete any additional screening deemed appropriate by the school principal or district school superintendent.
The bill requires each school to establish model emergency management and preparedness procedures for active shooter situations and participate in active shooter training conducted by the law enforcement agency or agencies designated as first responders for the school. The bill requires schools to allow the law enforcement agency or agencies designated as first responders to tour the campus every 3 years and document recommended changes related to school safety and emergency issues.
HB 1201 – Education For Prisoners by Ahern
The bill allows postsecondary workforce program funds to be used for the education of state inmates who have two years or less remaining on their sentences. It also authorizes the Department of Corrections (DOC) to contract with a district school board, the Florida Virtual School, or a charter school to provide educational, career, or vocational training to inmates through DOC’s Correctional Education Program. In addition, the bill provides that each county may contract with a district school board, the Florida Virtual School, or a charter school to provide certain education services for inmates in county detention facilities.
HB 1391 – Sexual Offenses Against Students by Rodrigues
The bill makes it a second-degree felony for an authority figure to solicit or engage in sexual conduct, a relationship of a romantic nature, or lewd conduct with a student enrolled at a school. The bill defines:
- “Authority figure” as a person 18 years of age or older who is employed by, volunteering at, or under contract with a school, including school resource officers.
- “School” as a private school, a voluntary prekindergarten education program, early learning program, a public school, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, and the Florida Virtual School. Facilities dedicated exclusively to adult education are not included.
The bill further enhances student safety and increases accountability for school officials and employees by:
- Providing that a conviction offenses against students disqualifies a person from educator certification or employment in a position with a public school or certain private schools that involves direct contact with students;
- Providing that, for purposes of disciplining an educator’s certificate, gross immorality or an act involving moral turpitude includes having a romantic relationship with or soliciting or engaging in sexual contact with a student or minor;
- Providing that an employee’s resignation or termination of employment does not affect a school district’s responsibility to report legally sufficient complaints of misconduct to the Florida Department of Education within 30 days;
- Requiring district school board policies to include mandatory reporting of alleged misconduct that involves gross immorality or moral turpitude and to require district school superintendents to report to law enforcement misconduct by school district personnel that would result in disqualification from certification or employment;
- Forfeiting a district school board member’s salary for 1 year if he or she knowingly fails to adopt policies requiring the superintendent to report disqualifying misconduct to law enforcement;
- Forfeiting a district school superintendent’s salary for 1 year if he or she knowingly fails to report disqualifying misconduct to law enforcement; and
- Requiring a district school superintendent to notify in writing the parent of a student whose health, safety, or welfare is affected by a legally sufficient complaint of misconduct and requiring the notification to include certain information.
The House Health Quality Subcommittee will meet, 8:00 – 11:00 am, to consider the following item and others:
HB 1045 – Immunization Registry by Pigman
- Requires physicians, physician assistants, and nurses who administer vaccines to children aged 18 or younger or to students at a Florida college or university health care facility to report the vaccination to the immunization registry.
- Authorizes automated data uploads to the immunization registry from existing electronic health record systems.
- Repeals the ability of a parent or guardian of a child to opt to exclude his or her child from participating in the immunization registry.
- Eliminates examples of the types of rules that DOH may promulgate related to the prevention and control of communicable diseases and the immunization registry, but retains DOH’s authority to adopt rules as needed to administer the programs.
- Requires that, effective July 1, 2021, school districts and private schools have a policy that requires each student to have a certification of immunizations on file with the state’s immunization registry.
The House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee will meet, 8:30 – 11:00 am, to consider the following items and others:
HB 1013 – Daylight Saving Time by Nunez
The bill declares this Legislature’s intent to observe Daylight Saving Time year-round throughout the entire state if federal law is amended to allow the state to do so.
HB 1019 – Financial Reporting by La Rosa
The bill requires counties, municipalities, special districts, water management districts, and school districts to:
- Post annual budgets to the website for 5 years;
- Provide an electronic copy of their budgets to EDR on specified forms;
- Provide a copy of their budget and a certification of timely filing to the clerk of the court;
- File annual financial reports and audit reports within six months of the end of the fiscal year.
- In addition, the bill:
- Provides that the recipient of these reports may extend reporting deadlines by up to 90 days in the event the Governor declares a state of emergency.
- Provides that if a local government entity or school district fails to file required reports with the clerk of the court, the clerk shall notify the appropriate fiscal officer to withhold salary payments from the head of the local government entity or the superintendent of the school district until the reports are filed.
- Requires all municipalities and special districts to conduct an annual audit.
- Requires the Legislative Auditing Committee to conduct a hearing upon receiving notification from the Auditor General, the Department of Financial Services, or the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration that a local government entity has failed to file required reports.
The Senate PreK-12 Education Appropriations Subcommittee will meet, 9:00 – 11:00 am, to consider the following item:
Review and Discussion of Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Budget Issues
The House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee will meet, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, to consider the following item and others:
HJR 1031 – Limitation of Terms/School Board Members by Fischer
The joint resolution proposes an amendment to the Florida Constitution that, if approved by the voters at the general election in November 2018, prohibits a district school board member from appearing on a ballot for reelection if, by the end of their current term of office, the member will have served, or but for resignation would have served, in that office for eight consecutive years. This provision is similar to the term limits for elected state and federal officials added to the Florida Constitution in 1992. The resolution also provides that time served as a school board member after 2013 is counted toward the eight-year limit. Thus, for example, a district school board member who was elected in 2014 and is reelected in 2018 cannot appear on the 2022 ballot for reelection.
The Senate Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee will meet, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, to consider the following item:
Review and Discussion of Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Budget Issues
The Senate Appropriations Committee will meet, 2:00 – 3:30 pm, to consider the following item and others:
SB 540 – Postsecondary Education by Hukill
The bill creates the “Community College Competitiveness Act of 2018” which restructures the governance of the Florida College System and modifies the mission of the system and its institutions. Specifically, the bill:
- Modifies the governance of the Florida Community College System (FCCS) by:
- Renaming the Florida College System as the FCCS; and
- Establishing a State Board of Community Colleges (SBCC), and transferring specified responsibilities from the State Board of Education to the SBCC.
- Clarifies expectations and oversight of baccalaureate degree programs offered by community colleges, and:
- Modifies the baccalaureate approval process for all community colleges.
- Establishes a 20 percent cap on upper-level, undergraduate full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment at each community college, and a 10 percent cap on upper-level, undergraduate FTE enrollment for the FCCS, and specifies conditions for planned and purposeful growth of baccalaureate degree programs.
- Establishes the “2+2” targeted pathway program to provide students guaranteed access to baccalaureate degree programs at state universities.
- Establishes the Supporting Students for Academic Success program to fund the efforts of community colleges in assisting students enrolled in an associate in arts (AA) degree program to complete college-credit courses, graduate with an AA degree, and transfer to a baccalaureate degree program.
- Modifies the community college performance accountability metrics and standards to promote on-time student graduation.
- Enhances transparency and accountability of community college direct-support organizations.
The House will be in Session, 3:00 pm through completion of business, to consider the following item(s) and others on Special Order (2nd Reading):
HJR 7001 – Supermajority Vote for State Taxes or Fees by Ways & Means
The joint resolution proposes an amendment to the state Constitution that would provide that no state tax or fee may be imposed, authorized, or raised by the legislature, or authorized by the legislature to be raised except through legislation approved by two-thirds of the membership of each house of the legislature. The joint resolution requires that any proposed state tax or fee imposition, authorization or increase must be contained in a separate bill that contains no other subject. In addition, the joint resolution also specifies that the proposed amendment does not authorize the imposition of any state tax or fee otherwise prohibited by the state Constitution, and does not apply to any tax or fee imposed by, or authorized to be imposed by, a county, municipality, school board, or special district.
HB 273 – Public Records by Rodrigues
The bill prohibits an agency that receives a public record request to inspect or copy a record from responding to such request by filing a civil action against the individual or entity making the request.
HB 25 – Labor Organizations by Plakon
The bill requires an employee organization to include the following information in its annual financial report for each certified bargaining unit that the organization represents:
- The number of employees in the bargaining unit who are eligible for representation by the employee organization; and
- The number of employees who are represented by the organization, specifying the number of members who pay dues and the number of members who do not pay dues.
If a registered employee organization does not submit this information for a certified bargaining unit it represents, the organization’s certification for that unit is revoked. This provision does not apply to an employee organization that represents, or seeks to represent, employees who are law enforcement officers, correctional officers, or firefighters.
The bill also requires an employee organization that has been certified as the bargaining agent for a unit whose dues-paying membership is less than 50 percent of the employees eligible for representation in that unit to petition the commission for recertification as the exclusive representative of all employees in the unit within one month after the date on which the organization applies for registration renewal. The petition must be accompanied by dated statements signed by at least 30 percent of the employees in the unit, indicating that such employees desire to be represented by the employee organization. If the commission determines the petition to be sufficient, it must order an election to determine whether the employee organization will be certified. The certification of an employee organization that does not comply with this recertification requirement is revoked. This requirement does not apply to an employee organization that represents, or seeks to represent, employees who are law enforcement officers, correctional officers, or firefighters.
The Senate will be in Session, 4:00 pm through completion of business, to consider the following item(s) and others on Special Order (2nd Reading):
SB 192 – Public Meetings by Baxley
The bill provides from jurisprudence definitions for the terms: “de facto meeting,” “discussion,” “meeting,” “official act,” and “public business.” The bill also provides guidelines for boards to conduct permissible fact-finding exercises or excursions. In addition, the bill provides in statute that notice is not required when two or more members of a board are gathered if no official acts are taken and no public business is discussed.
SB 186 – Resign-to-run Law by Hutson
The bill requires a state or local officer who seeks a federal public office to submit his or her resignation at least 10 days before the first day of qualifying for the federal office if the terms of the two offices overlap. A state officer’s qualifying for a federal office while not submitting this resignation constitutes an automatic, immediately-effective resignation from his or her office. A similar “resign-to-run” law already applies to state or local officers who seek another state, district, county, or municipal public office.
SB 118 – Visitation of Schools by State Legislators by Hukill
The bill authorizes an individual member of the State Legislature to visit any district school, including any charter school, in his or her legislative district, on any day and at any time at his or her pleasure, which is consistent with the authority extended in law to an individual member of a district school board and individual charter school governing board member to visit applicable schools. The bill also clarifies that the district school superintendent’s designee or the school principal’s designee, in addition to the specified district employees in current law, may not limit the duration or scope of the visit or direct the visiting individual to leave the school premises.