Legislative committees considered several bills of interest today, including bills relating to student safety and health, juvenile justice, public meetings, school funding, early learning, and curriculum. Please click on the link below for our report on the outcome for these bills and others. Tomorrow, legislators will consider several more bills of interest, most notably, bills relating school board member term limits and school district accountability. Please click on the link below to access more detailed information on the these bills and others that will be considered.
In the Senate Finance & Tax Appropriations Subcommittee meeting:
SB 324 – Impact Fees by Young – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
- Requires that the collection of an impact fee be no earlier than the issuance of the building permit for the property that is subject to the fee.
- Codifies the dual rational nexus test. Specifically, the bill requires that an impact fee be reasonably connected to, or have a rational nexus with:
- The need for additional capital facilities and the increased impact generated by the new residential or commercial construction; and
- The expenditures of the funds collected and the benefits accruing to the new residential or commercial construction.
- Requires the local government to specifically earmark funds collected by the impact fees for use in acquiring capital facilities to benefit the new residents.
- Prohibits the use of impact fee revenues to pay existing debt or for prior approved projects unless the expenditure is reasonably connected to, or has a rational nexus with, the increased impact generated by the new residential or commercial construction.
- Prohibits provisions governing impact fees from applying to water and sewer connection fees.
- Prohibits local governments from requiring certain conditions in sector plan development orders, unless the local government has enacted an ordinance that requires developers of other developments that are not within a sector planning area to contribute proportionately to accommodate any impacts having a rational nexus to the proposed development.
- Specifies the process for the local government review and approval of detailed specific area plans or related development orders.
[NOTE: Today’s amendments clarified that these impact fee provisions do not apply to water and sewer connection fees and added new provisions relating to sector plans. The short summary above reflects the provisions of the bill as amended. This was the second of three committees of reference for the bill. The House companion bill — HB 697 – is similar and has passed two of three committees of reference.]
SJR 1742 – Supermajority Vote for State Taxes or Fees by Stargel — PASSED
The Joint Resolution proposes an amendment to the State Constitution to require a law that imposes a new tax, increases the rate or amount of a tax, or expands a tax base, and that results in a net increase in state revenues, to be approved by three-fifths of the membership of each house of the Legislature. [NOTE: This was the first of two committees of reference for the bill. The House companion bill — HJR 7001 – is comparable, has passed all committees of reference, and has passed the House.]
In the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee meeting:
HB 361 – Persons Authorized to Visit Juvenile Facilities by Richardson – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A CS
- Authorizes the following persons to visit, at their pleasure between 6:00 am and 11:00 pm and in accordance with DOC rules between 11:00 pm and 6 am, all state facilities housing juveniles that are operated or overseen by the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ):
- The Governor;
- All Cabinet members;
- Members of the Legislature;
- Judges of state courts;
- State attorneys;
- Public defenders; and
- Authorized representatives of the Florida Commission on Offender Review.
- Prohibits any person not otherwise authorized by law from visiting a facility.
- Prohibits DJJ from unreasonably withholding permission to visit a state facility housing juveniles from a person who provides sufficient evidence that he or she is a bona fide reporter or writer.
[NOTE: Today’s amendment revises the hours during which specified persons may visit. The short summary above reflects the provisions of the bill as amended. This was the first of two committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill — SB 1004 — is similar and has passed one of two committees of reference.]
HB 515 – Offenses Against Students by Authority Figures by Mariano – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A CS
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, regardless of the student’s age. 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, such as colleges and universities, are not included.
The bill also adds “school bus” to the definition of “school” for purposes of trespass upon grounds or facilities of a school. [NOTE: Today’s amendment amended the definition of “school” in the context of trespassing on school grounds. 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 Senate companion bill — SB 736 – is similar but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
In the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee meeting:
HB 79 – Public Meetings by Roth — PASSED
The bill revises the “Government in the Sunshine Law”. Specifically, the bill:
- 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 second of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill — SB 192 – is similar and is on the Senate Calendar on 3rd Reading.]
In the Senate Education Committee meeting:
SB 824 – School District Price Level Index by Garcia — PASSED
The bill requires the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to issue a competitive solicitation to contract with an independent, third-party consulting firm, by July 1, 2018, and every 10 years thereafter, to conduct a review of the existing price level index methodology. The bill also requires the DOE, by January 1, 2019, and every 10 years thereafter, to submit a report providing recommendations to the chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the chair of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, and the Executive Office of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget. [NOTE: This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill — HB 495 – is identical and has passed one of three committees of reference.]
SB 856 – High School Graduation Requirements by Montford — PASSED
The bill authorizes students to use apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship program credit to meet specified credit requirements for high school graduation. Specifically, the bill:
- Authorizes a student who earns credit upon completion of an apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship program registered with the Department of Education to use such credit to meet the credit requirements for:
- Fine or performing arts, speech and debate, or practical arts; or
- Requires the State Board of Education to approve and identify in the Course Code Directory the apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs from which a student may use earned credit to meet the specified credit requirements for high school graduation.
[NOTE: This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill — HB 577 – is identical, has passed all committees of reference, and has been placed on the House Calendar on 2nd Reading.]
SB 996 – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in Public Schools by Mayfield — PASSED
The bill requires each school district to provide to students instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of an automated external defibrillator. Specifically the bill:
- Requires the instruction to be part of the physical education curriculum or another required curriculum selected by the school district, and the instruction to be based on an instructional program established by:
- The American Heart Association,
- The American Red Cross, or
- Another nationally recognized program that uses the most current evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines.
- Requires students to study and practice psychomotor skills associated with performing CPR at least once before graduating from high school.
- Exempts students with disabilities from the specified instruction requirements.
[NOTE: This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill — HB 795 – is identical but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
SB 1064 – Dual Enrollment Programs by Baxley — PASSED
The bill modifies provisions in the dual enrollment articulation agreement between an eligible postsecondary education institution and an eligible private secondary school to specify that tuition and fees for dual enrollment may not be passed along to the private school that the student attends. [NOTE: This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. There is not direct House companion bill.]
SB 1254 – Early Learning by Passidomo – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A CS
The bill modifies provisions relating to the school readiness program. Specifically, the bill:
- Requires the Office of Early Learning to:
- Coordinate with the Department of Children and Families or its contracted provider to triennially evaluate the accrediting agencies and provide a payment differential for accredited providers who meet certain criteria.
- Adopt program assessment requirements that measure the quality of teacher-child interactions using a research-based observation tool.
- Revise the statewide provider contract to include health and safety provisions, contracted slots, quality improvement strategies, and program assessment requirements.
- Modify the annual report to include specified program assessment information.
- Revises Early Learning Coalitions (ELC) plans to add information regarding:
- An assessment based on community data that identifies the needs of children and families and assesses provider capacity to inform local priorities;
- Local eligibility priorities for children, the use of contracted slots in the ELC’s procedures for program implementation, and a description of quality improvement strategies in the ELC’s quality activities and services.
- Modifies school readiness program eligibility, provider standards, and funding to:
- Revise the child eligibility priorities for participation in the school readiness program based on the ELC’s local priorities; and also revise the definition of “at-risk” children for eligibility purposes.
- Revise provider eligibility requirements to specify that the providers must participate in a program assessment and in quality improvement strategies, subject to legislative funding.
- Authorize the award of grants and financial supports to providers and instructors to meet program assessment requirements.
- Appropriates $6 million to the Office of Early Learning for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
[NOTE: Today’s amendment revised and clarified the provisions of the bill. This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill — HB 1091 – is similar and has passed one of three committees of reference.]
SB 1306 – Reading Instruction by Perry — PASSED
The bill modifies provisions related to reading intervention. Specifically, the bill:
- Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, requires teachers who provide reading interventions under a school district’s K-12 comprehensive reading plan to be certified or endorsed in reading.
- Requires the Florida Department of Education (DOE), as part of its review of certain certification and endorsement requirements, to consider awarding a reading endorsement to teachers who:
- Are certified by an internationally recognized organization that establishes standards for reading intervention, or
- Complete a postsecondary program that is accredited by such organization.
- Requires each school district to provide to all elementary grades instructional personnel access to training to earn a reading endorsement.
[NOTE: This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill — HB 887 – is identical and has passed one of three committees of reference.]
SB 1388 – Pre-apprenticeship and Apprenticeship Programs by Garcia – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A CS
The bill establishes the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion within the Department of Economic Opportunity. The bill defines terms, specifies membership, and provides that the task force shall:
- Seek information from representatives of and experts in the state’s targeted industries regarding unmet workforce needs that could be addressed through the expansion of pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs.
- Examine and make legislative and administrative recommendations regarding topics including:
- Increasing recruitment of women, members of minority groups, low-income individuals, veterans, and individuals with disabilities into registered pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs.
- Enhancing articulation between middle school curriculum; high school career and technical education programs; registered apprenticeship programs; postsecondary institution curriculum; and workforce needs.
- Ensuring the effective delivery of information regarding career and technical education opportunities.
- Implementing a sustainable model for the funding of registered pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs.
- Instituting limited income tax credits or economic development incentives for taxpayers employing pre-apprentices or apprentices.
- Guaranteeing access for enrollees ages 16 and 17 to all appropriate learning opportunities.
- Consider additional topics such as the impact of changes to federal laws and administrative policies regarding career and technical education, secondary institution curriculum, and workforce needs, and the best practices in other states.
[NOTE: Today’s amendment removed reference to the creation of a grant program and related appropriation. 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 711 – is similar but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
SB 1532 – Early Learning Coalitions by Stargel — PASSED
The bill authorizes early learning coalitions to refuse to contract with a school readiness program provider if the provider has been cited for a class I violation. [NOTE: This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill — HB 1175 – is similar, has passed all committees of reference, and is on the House Calendar on 2nd Reading.]
In the Senate Criminal Justice Committee meeting:
SB 310 – Threats to Kill or do Bodily Injury by Steube – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A CS
The bill revises statutes relating to threats. Specifically, the bill:
- Prohibits a person from making a threat to kill or do great bodily injury in a writing or other record and transmitting that threat in any manner that would allow another person to view the threat. Deletes requirements that a threat be sent to a specific recipient to be prohibited.
- Revises the ranking of the offense of making written threats to kill or do great bodily injury on the offense severity ranking chart of the Criminal Punishment Code.
- Reenacts provisions to incorporate amendments made by this bill.
[NOTE: The Committee took up and passed a strike all amendment that generally clarified the intent and provisions of the bill. 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 165 – is similar, has passed all committees of reference, and is on the House Calendar on 2nd Reading.]
SB 1318 – Education For Prisoners by Rouson — PASSED
The bill amends current statutes authorizing a county or municipal detention facility or the Department of Corrections (DOC) to contract with a district school board, the Florida Virtual School, or a charter school (school provider) to provide educational services to its inmates. The educational services may include any educational, career, or vocational training. The bill also amends s. 1011.80, F.S., to allow state funding for postsecondary education to be used on inmates with less than 24 months of time remaining on his or her sentence. [NOTE: This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill — HB 1201 – is similar and has passed one of three committees of reference.]
The House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee will meet, 8:00 – 11:00 am, to consider the following items:
HB 1 – The Hope Scholarship Program by Donalds
The bill establishes the Hope Scholarship Program, which provides the parent of a public school student who was subject to an incident of battery; harassment; hazing; bullying; kidnapping; physical attack; robbery; sexual offenses, harassment, assault, or battery; threat or intimidation; or fighting at school with the opportunity to transfer the student to another public school or to receive a scholarship for the student to attend a private school. If the student enrolls in a public school outside the district, the student is eligible for a transportation scholarship limited to $750.
The bill establishes the duties and responsibilities of the Department of Education, the Commissioner of Education, scholarship funding organizations, parents, students and the Auditor General. The bill also establishes guidelines for funding and payment of the Hope Scholarship Program. The bill allows taxpayers to receive tax credits for eligible contributions to fund the Hope Scholarship Program.
HB 591 – Missing Persons With Special Needs by Porter
The bill expands Project Leo statewide and permits a Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at any state university to participate in a program providing personal devices to aid search-and-rescue efforts for persons with special needs in the case of elopement. The bill makes the University of Florida responsible for developing criteria for the selection of participants in the project and removes the requirement that Florida Atlantic University and University of South Florida develop similar criteria. The bill extends the project to June 30, 2019. In addition, the bill also removes the requirement that each participating center submit a preliminary and final report to the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate. the bill extends the project to June 30, 2019.
HB 731 – Home Education by Sullivan
- Clarifies the definition of “parent,” the home education registration process and the home education notice requirements;
- Authorizes school districts to provide a home education student access to career and technical courses and programs;
- Authorizes districts to offer industry certifications, national assessments and statewide, standardized assessments to home education students;
- Prohibits school superintendents from requiring evidence of a child’s age if the child meets regular attendance requirements by attending certain educational institutions or programs;
- Authorizes school superintendents to refer student nonenrollment cases to a child study team in order to conduct intervention services;
- Clarifies the court procedures and penalties for enforcement of compulsory school attendance; and
- Exempts a home education student from the grade point average requirement for admission to dual enrollment programs if the student meets the minimum score on a college placement test.
HB 887 – Reading Instruction by Harrell
- Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, requires teachers who provide reading interventions under a school district’s K-12 comprehensive reading plan to be certified or endorsed in reading;
- Requires the Florida Department of Education (DOE), as part of its review of certain certification and endorsement requirements, to consider awarding a reading endorsement to teachers who are certified by an internationally recognized reading intervention organization or who complete a program accredited by the organization; and
- Requires school districts to provide teachers access to training for a reading endorsement consistent with the DOE’s review of endorsement requirements.
HB 1279 – School District Accountability by Sullivan
To increase fiscal transparency of educational spending, the bill:
- Requires school boards to provide financial efficiency data and fiscal trend information;
- Requires the Department of Education to develop a web-based tool that identifies schools and districts with high academic achievement based on per pupil expenditures; and
- Requires school boards to provide a full explanation of, and approve, any budget amendment at the boards’ next public meeting.
To increase fiscal accountability of districts, the bill:
- Requires school districts with revenues over $500 million to employ an internal auditor;
- Requires school districts with low ending fund balances to reduce administrative costs and other expenditures;
- Requires districts in a financial emergency to withhold the salaries of superintendents and school board members until the emergency is addressed;
- Requires an investigation of school districts who are unable to timely pay current debts and liabilities;
- Clarifies that the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General must investigate allegations and reports of fraud and abuse from certain government officials; and
- Requires school districts with previous operational audit findings to initiate and complete corrective action within a certain period of time.
The bill also:
- Prohibits appointed, along with elected superintendents, from lobbying school districts for a period of two years after vacating the position;
- Aligns school board member salaries with beginning teacher salary or the amount calculated by statute, whichever is less;
- Requires prior school board approval for reimbursement of out-of-district travel expenses;
- Requires school boards to withhold a portion of an employee’s salary who owes a public financial disclosure fine;
- Repeals s. 1011.64, F.S., relating to school district minimum classroom expenditure requirements; and
- Prohibits superintendents, along with school board members, from employing or appointing a relative to work under their direct supervision.
The House Children, Families, and Seniors Subcommittee will meet, 8:30 – 11:00 am, to consider the following item and others:
HB 1129 – Licensure of Child Care Programs by Cortes
The bill defines an after-school program as child care for school-age children during out-of-school times, including, but not limited to, before school or after school, school breaks, and inservice planning days. An after-school program includes, but is not limited to, a program that does not require a parent to be present while the child is at the facility and satisfies three or more of the following elements:
- Provides transportation.
- Provides meals or snacks.
- Provides more than one type of educational, artistic, athletic, or self-directed activity.
- Provides tutoring or homework assistance, or a specific time for children to complete homework.
- Advertises or holds itself out as providing child care or being an after-school program.
- Takes children on field trips.
The bill provides exemptions from the definition of after-school program, which exempt qualifying programs from licensure. These exemptions do not include a blanket exemption for a membership organization that is affiliated with a national organization. The bill also amends legislative intent related to the licensure of child care facilities to state that membership organizations affiliated with national organizations which provide child care are considered to be child care facilities and, as such, are subject to licensing requirements or minimum standards for child care facilities. The bill provides exceptions from certain physical plant requirements for such membership organizations that are licensed as child care facilities for after-school programs before July 1, 2020.
The House Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee will meet, 8:30 – 11:00 am, to consider the following items and others:
HB 1437 – Employment Services for Persons with Disabilities by Abruzzo
The bill requires participants in an adult or youth work experience activity under either the Division of Bling Services or the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation be deemed an employee of the state for the purposes of workers’ compensation coverage.
HB 665 – Retirement by Clemons
The bill sets the level of the annual cost of living adjustment for all Florida Retirement System pension plan retirees and annuitants beginning July 1, 2018. For the annual cost of living adjustment for a retiree and beneficiary retiring on or after July 1, 2011, with service credit earned before July 1, 2011, the factor calculated may not be a product of less than 2.
The Senate Community Affairs Committee will meet, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, to consider the following items and others:
SB 1426 – Local Government Fiscal Transparency by Lee
The bill creates the Local Government Fiscal Transparency Act. Specifically, the bill:
- Requires local government, including a school board, to post the voting records related to tax increases and issuance of tax-supported debt on its website.
- Requires each county property appraiser to maintain a website that provides access to property tax TRIM notices and a 4-year history of property tax rates and amounts levied on each parcel. Requires a 4-year history of property tax rates and total revenue generated to be provided on such local government websites.
- Requires additional public meetings and expands public notice requirements for local option tax increases, other than property taxes, and new tax-supported debt issuances. Public notices for proposed tax increases must contain information regarding the rate and total annual amount of revenue expected, the annual additional revenue expressed as a percent of annual general fund revenue, detailed explanation of intended uses of the levy, and an indication of whether or not the tax proceeds will be used to secure debt. Public notices for proposed new debt issuance must disclose the total lifetime costs of the debt, annual debt service, and effects of the new debt on a government’s debt affordability measures.
- Requires local governments to conduct a debt affordability analysis before approving the issuance of new tax-supported debt. The analysis must, at a minimum, calculate a debt affordability ratio1 for the most recent 5 previous years and at least 2 projected years to gauge the effects of the new debt issuance on the government’s debt service to revenue profile.
The bill also contains several additional elements intended to increase the fiscal transparency of local governments including:
- Requiring that annual audit reports contain an affidavit signed by the chair of the local government governing board stating that it is in compliance with the provisions of the Local Government Fiscal Transparency Act;
- Requiring the Auditor General to request evidence of corrective action from local governments found not to be in compliance under certain circumstances;
- Requiring local governments to provide evidence of such correction action and evidence of completion of such action within a specified period; and
- Revising the local government reporting requirements for economic development incentives.
The Senate Ethics & Elections Committee will meet, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, to consider the following items and others:
SJR 194 – Limitation of Terms/School Board Members by Steube
The Joint Resolution establishes a lifetime, two 4-year terms ban on district school board members. The term limit applies retroactively to school board members serving after the 2018 general election; a member’s time served before the 2018 general election is counted in determining two terms of office. In practice, school board members elected at the 2018 general election for a 4-year term who have served at least one previous term will be termed out in 2022. Because school board members serve in staggered terms, members not up for reelection until 2020 who will have served two complete terms at that time will not be eligible for reelection. In addition, the resolution provides that if a member resigns before completing two 4-year terms and then seeks election, time served before resignation constitutes one 4-year term of office.
SB 1628 – Sexual Harassment by Book
The bill creates the Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Misconduct, which is tasked with studying the issue of sexual harassment within Florida’s government and making recommendations concerning existing policies and new policies that may be established. Specifically, the Task Force must examine complaint processes, reporting complaints, investigations, confidentiality of the complaints, victim support and assistance, training, and other states’ actions to reduce the incidences of harassment and to protect the rights of victims. The bill also creates an express provision in the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees which prohibits an officer, candidate for office, employee, or a lobbyist from engaging in sexual harassment.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, to consider the following item and others:
SB 308 – Federal Immigration Enforcement by Bean
The bill creates the “Rule of Law Adherence Act.” The act requires state entities, law enforcement agencies, and local governmental entities and their officials to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in enforcing federal immigration laws. The bill:
- Requires a covered government body to comply with and support the enforcement of federal immigration law.
- Prohibits a state entity, local governmental entity, or law enforcement agency from having a law or procedure which impedes a law enforcement agency from communicating or cooperating with a federal immigration agency on immigration enforcement.
- Prohibits any restriction on a covered body’s ability to use, maintain, or exchange immigration information for certain purposes.
- Provides procedures for a law enforcement agency and court to follow when an arrested person cannot provide proof of lawful presence in the United States or is subject to an immigration detainer.
- Requires any sanctuary policies currently in effect be repealed within 90 days after the effective date of the act.
- Authorizes a board of county commissioners to enact an ordinance requiring those detained pursuant to a properly issued immigration detainer to reimburse the county for its costs of complying with the detainer.
- Requires an official or employee of a covered body to report a violation of the act to the Attorney General or state attorney. Failure to report a violation may result in suspension or removal from office.
- Authorizes the Attorney General or a state attorney to seek an injunction against a government body that violates the act.
- Imposes a civil penalty of at least $1,000 but no more than $5,000 for each day a policy is in effect that violates the act.
- Creates a civil cause of action for a person injured by the conduct of an alien unlawfully present in the United States against a government body whose violation of the act contributed to the person’s injury.
- Prohibits the expenditure of public funds to reimburse or defend a public official or employee who violates the act.
- Suspends state grant funding eligibility for 5 years for a government body that violates the act.
The House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee will meet, 3:30 – 5:30 pm, to consider the following item and others:
HB 1251 – Florida Construction Workforce Task Force by Porter
The bill provides that DOE must create a plan to implement the following recommendations of the Construction Industry Workforce Taskforce:
- Expand the definition of a LEA, as used in apprenticeship programs in Florida, to include institutions other than public schools, such as private training organization (for profit and nonprofit), labor unions, industry trade associations or other community based organizations;
- Create a legislative study to consider the appropriateness of moving apprenticeship programs from DOE to DEO;
- Require DOE to recognize the NCCER curriculum, or other comparable national curriculum, as eligible for high school credits, college credits, and state supported scholarships such as Bright Futures;
- Provide additional state CTE support to be directed towards K-12 programs so that “shop” or other construction related programs are added back into Career and Technical Education programs; and
- Allow for an alternative instructor certification process through the DOE that does not require certification through an LEA.
The bill provides that DOE must submit the plan to the Governor, Speaker of the House, and the President of the Senate by July 1, 2019.