The chambers were unable to reach agreement on a budget today which means that, at a minimum, the session will be extended beyond Friday’s scheduled date of adjournment. Senate President Negron indicated that the chambers are very close to agreement and they hope to publish a budget by Friday. They may then recess during the mandatory 72-hour cooling off period and return next week to vote on the budget. Meanwhile, Governor Scott has expressed disappointment in several areas of the budget framework, including funding for K-12 education, and has appealed to various groups to continue to advocate for improvements in the budget plan.
Due, in part, to efforts to reach a budget agreement today, several bills scheduled for consideration today were postponed and were added to the calendars for tomorrow (Wednesday) along with several other bills that had already been scheduled. Of particular interest, two key bills relating to assessments will be considered tomorrow – HB 773 is on 3rd Reading in the House and SB 926 is on 2nd Reading in the Senate. Please click on the links below for our report on bills considered today and for the details on the bills to be considered tomorrow.
In the Senate Session:
Bills on 3rd Reading
HB 1107 – Public Records/Workers’ Compensation by Albritton – READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE SENATE
The bill creates a public records exemption for personal identifying information of an injured or deceased worker contained in reports, notices, records, or supporting documentation held by the Department of Financial Services (DFS). “Personal identifying information,” means the injured or deceased employee’s name, date of birth, home, mailing, or e-mail address, or telephone number. The bill authorizes the DFS to disclose personal identifying information made confidential and exempt only:
- To the injured employee, to the spouse or a dependent of the deceased employee, to the spouse or a dependent of the injured employee if authorized by the injured employee, or to the legal representative of the deceased employee’s estate;
- To a party litigant, or his or her authorized representative, in matters pending before the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims;
- To a carrier or an employer for the purpose of investigating the compensability of a claim or for the purpose of administering its anti-fraud investigative unit;
- In an aggregate reporting format that does not reveal the personal identifying information of any employee;
- Pursuant to a court order or subpoena;
- To an agency for administering its anti-fraud investigative function or in furtherance of the agency’s official duties and responsibilities;
- To a federal governmental entity in the furtherance of the entity’s official duties and responsibilities.
The bill provides that a person who willfully and knowingly discloses personal identifying information made confidential and exempt by this bill to an unauthorized person or entity commits a misdemeanor of the first degree [NOTE: The bill was amended on 2nd Reading on Monday to insert the gist of the Senate companion bill – SB 1008 – so this bill will need to return to the House for consideration.]
Bills on 2nd Reading
SB 1210 – Instructional Materials in K-12 Public Education by Lee – NOT CONSIDERED; RETAINED ON SPECIAL ORDER CALENDAR FOR 5/3/17 (see below for summary and details)
SB 360 – Middle School Study by Stargel – NOT CONSIDERED; RETAINED ON SPECIAL ORDER CALENDAR FOR 5/3/17 (see below for summary and details)
SB 1582 – Workers’ Compensation Insurance by Bradley – NOT CONSIDERED; RETAINED ON SPECIAL ORDER CALENDAR FOR 5/3/17 (see below for summary and details)
In the House Session:
Bills on 3rd Reading
HB 773 – K-12 Student Assessments by M. Diaz – TEMPORARILY POSTPONED; RETAINED ON CALENDAR ON 3RD READING FOR 5/3/17 (see below for summary and details)
HB 265 – Computer Coding Instruction by Porter – READ 3RD TIME, AMENDED; PASSED THE HOUSE
The bill amends the law to more closely align state policy to the Southern Regional Education Board’s recommendations concerning computer science education. The bill promotes student access to education in computer science and related fields by requiring the Articulation Coordinating Committee to develop, in collaboration with industry stakeholders and parent advocates, recommendations that identify:
- High school courses in computer science, including computer coding and computer programming, which may be used to satisfy state university admissions requirements for math and science.
- Common academic and technical skills needed for students to help meet projected labor market demands in computer science, information technology, and related fields in Florida.
- How middle and high school students, including underrepresented and nontraditional students, can be encouraged to pursue further studies and careers in computer science, information technology, and related fields.
- Secondary course sequences which prepare students to succeed in postsecondary educational programs in computer science, information technology, and related fields.
- Gaps in current policy, curricula, programs, and practices that inhibit students from pursuing postsecondary education and careers in computer science and related fields.
- Appropriate educator qualifications and computer science pedagogy to maintain technologically current instructional knowledge and practices in teacher preparation programs.
- Common definitions for terms related to computer science, including terms such as computer coding and computer programming, for consistent use across the Florida K-20 education system.
The committee must report its recommendations to the BOG and the Legislature by December 31, 2018. In addition, the bill requires the Commissioner to identify high school-level courses that incorporate the computer science standards in the Course Code Directory by June 30, 2018 and requires DOE to provide annual reports to the BOG and the Legislature that identify:
- The courses identified in the Course Code Directory pursuant by the commissioner in accordance with the bill;
- The number of students, by district, including the FLVS, who are enrolled in a course so identified; and
- The number of individuals who hold a valid educator certificate in computer science or a related field.
The bill also requires the state board to consult with the BOG and school districts to develop strategies for:
- Recruiting qualified teachers to provide computer science instruction;
- Updating computer science educator certification requirements;
- Providing appropriate professional development to maintain technologically current instructional knowledge and practices in the school districts; and
- Identifying and streamlining traditional and alternative pathways toward computer science educator certification.
If a student enrolls in an identified course that satisfies any FCS or SUS admission requirements for mathematics, or science, the bill requires the school district to notify the student that he or she should contact any out-of-state or private postsecondary institution to which the student is applying and inquire whether the course credit satisfies any of the institution’s admissions requirements. [NOTE: Today’s amendment provides for collaboration with industry stakeholders and parents in the work of the Articulation Coordinating Committee. The Senate companion bill – SB 104 – is comparable and has passed one of two committees of reference. Also note that SB 104 still contains provisions to allow students to take computer coding courses of sufficient rigor such that two credits in those courses and the earning of a related industry certification satisfies two credits in sequential foreign language instruction.]
HB 843 — Meetings Between Two Members of Board or Commission by Donalds—READ 3RD TIME; FAILED
The bill authorizes two members of any board or commission, including persons elected or appointed to such board or commission who have not yet taken office, of any state agency or authority or any agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision with a total membership of at least five members to meet in private and discuss public business without providing notice of such meeting or recording the meeting. Such meetings are exempt from open meetings requirements if:
- The members do not adopt a resolution or rule to take any other formal action, or agree to do so at a future meeting, at such meeting. A resolution or rule adopted, or any other formal action taken, in violation of this prohibition is void.
- The members do not discuss an appropriation, a contract, or any other public business that involves the direct expenditure of public funds to a private vendor.
- The meeting is not intended to frustrate or circumvent the purpose of the open meetings laws.
The bill provides for repeal of the exemption on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature. [NOTE: The vote on the bill was 68 yeas to 48 nays but the bill failed because the Florida Constitution requires a 2/3 vote of the members present to approve passage of a new or expanded public meeting exemption. This bill, and the Senate companion bill – SB 1004 – will receive no further consideration during this session.]
Bills on 2nd Reading
HB 6017 – Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching by Gruters – READ 2ND TIME; SUBSTITUTED FOR SB 256; HB 6017 LAID ON THE TABLE
SB 256 — Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching by Steube – SUBSTITUTED FOR HB 6017; READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 5/3/17
The bill repeals the July 1, 2017, expiration date of The Florida Center for the Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching (PAInT) which is created within the University of South Florida Sarasota/Manatee. PAInT was established to increase the knowledge and research of arts-integrated instruction statewide, provide analysis of arts-integrated programs, and to partner with arts and educational organizations to introduce arts-integrated programs to more Florida Schools. Arts-integrated instruction is a teaching method in which the arts and academics are woven together to strengthen students’ understanding and retention of academic material. PAInT maintains partnerships with its host communities of Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties and to schools and districts across Florida, including public, private, and charter schools. [NOTE: The House substituted the Senate companion bill – SB 256 – for the House bill.]
The Senate will be in Session (10:00 am-6:00 pm; Senate Chamber) to consider the following items and others:
Bills on 2nd Reading
SB 902 – Gardiner Scholarship Program by Simmons
The bill modifies the Gardiner Scholarship Program (GSP) to:
- Expand the definition of disability, for purposes of the GSP, to include a child:
- Diagnosed with a rare disease or condition, which affects patient populations of fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States;
- Diagnosed as Anaphylaxis; or
- Identified as deaf, visually impaired, hospital or homebound, dual sensory impaired, traumatic brain injured, as defined by rules of the State Board of Education and evidenced by reports from local school districts. The bill describes hospital or homebound to mean a student who has a medically diagnosed physical or psychiatric condition or illness, as defined by the State Board in rule, and who is confined to the home or hospital for more than 6 months.
- Specify that a student’s individual education pan (IEP) is not required to be reviewed or revised within the last 12 months in order for the student to be eligible for the GSP.
- Allow a student with an IEP from another state or physician licensed in another state to qualify for the GSP, if the student meets the other eligibility requirements.
- Authorize the use of GSP funds to procure services provided by a hospital in Florida which is selected by a parent, a certified music therapist, art therapist, or services provided at a center that is a member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.
- Specify that a parent, student, or provider of any services may not bill an insurance company, Medicaid, or any other agency for the same services paid through Gardiner Scholarship funds.
- Provide that if a private school is unable to meet the requirements in law or has consecutive years of material exceptions listed in its agreed-upon procedures reports, the Commissioner of the Department of Education (DOE) may determine that the schools is ineligible to participate in the GSP.
- Require a student’s scholarship account to be closed and remaining funds reverted to the state if an account has been inactive for three consecutive fiscal years. The bill defines inactive to mean that eligible expenditures have not been made from a student’s scholarship account.
- Specify that if a parent does not procure the necessary educational services for the student and the student’s account has been inactive for 2 consecutive fiscal years, the student is ineligible for additional scholarship payments until the scholarship-funding organization verifies that expenditures have occurred from the account.
[NOTE: The House companion bill – HB 15 – is comparable, has passed the House, and is available for consideration in the Senate. Note that HB 15 addresses other scholarship programs in addition to the Gardiner Scholarship Program.]
SB 926 – Education/Assessments by Flores
The bill modifies provisions related to K-12 student assessments, the minority teacher education scholars program, early childhood development, intensive reading instruction, visitation of schools by individual school board members, exceptional student education, school board attendance policies, and teacher bonuses.
With regard to K-12 student assessments, the bill:
- Testing Window: Requires, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, the English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics assessments for the specified grades to be administered no earlier than the last 3 weeks of the school year, as determined by district school board policy.
- Reporting Assessment Results: Requires assessment results for the statewide, standardized ELA and mathematics assessments and Algebra I and Biology I end-of-course (EOC) assessments to be made available to the school districts as soon as practicable. Additionally, requires a school district to provide student performance results on statewide, standardized assessments to students’ parents and specified teachers in an easy-to-read and understandable format, and the report must include specified information. A school district must also provide student performance results on district-required local assessments to students’ teachers within one week after administering such assessments.
- Alternative Assessments: Requires the Commissioner of Education (commissioner) to contract for an independent study to determine nationally recognized high school assessment alternatives for Florida Standards Assessment (i.e., grade 9 and grade 10 ELA) and Algebra I EOC assessments for high school students; and to submit a report on the findings of the study to the Governor and the Legislature by January 1, 2018.
- Concordant and Comparative Scores: Requires the commissioner to identify, by the first day of the 2017-2018 school year, concordant or comparative scores on specified articulated acceleration mechanisms, which satisfy high school graduation requirements; and requires the scores of students who pass such assessment to be incorporated into the school grade calculations.
- Elimination of EOC Assessments: Eliminates Geometry, Algebra II, and United States History EOC assessments for purposes of meeting high school graduation requirements and earning scholar designation on the standard high school diploma except that a student must take one statewide, standardized mathematics assessment in high school, which must be Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra II. Additionally, the bill eliminates the Civics EOC assessment for purposes of middle grades promotion.
- Nonelectronic Assessment Option: Requires the commissioner to make available a nonelectronic option for all statewide assessments to reduce the time spent on testing, increase instructional time for students, and ensure students demonstrate a mastery of standards assessed. Additionally, a district school superintendent must notify the commissioner that the district will use a nonelectronic option for the entire district or for specific grade levels throughout the district by the beginning of the school year in which the nonelectronic option is used.
- Student Achievement Levels: Requires the Department of Education (DOE) to study each of the achievement levels used for statewide, standardized assessments to better communicate the meaning of such levels to students, parents, and teachers.
- Personnel Evaluation: For purposes of personnel evaluations, authorizes each school district to measure student learning growth using formulas developed by the commissioner.
In addition, the bill:
- Eliminates the cap on bonuses awarded to teachers of International Baccalaureate, Advanced International Certificate of Education, Advanced Placement, and Career and Professional Education courses, whose students earn specified score on the applicable examination.
- Expands the minority teacher education scholars program (program) to authorize a student to use the program scholarship toward a graduate degree with a major in education, leading to an initial certification.
- Creates the Committee on Early Childhood Development (committee), within the DOE, to develop a proposal for establishing and implementing a coordinated system focused on developmental milestones and outcomes for the school readiness program, the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program, and the Kindergarten Readiness Screener. The committee must submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature by December 1, 2017.
- Defines a public school prekindergarten provider to include a charter school that is eligible to deliver the school year prekindergarten program or summer prekindergarten program pursuant to law.
- Authorizes a school district to provide the required intensive reading instruction for a minimum of 90 minutes daily over the course of the school day to students who are retained in grade 3, and eliminates the requirement to provide such instruction for 90 continuous minutes daily.
- Authorizes an individual member of a district school board to visit any district or charter school in his or her school district on any day and at any time, at his or her pleasure.
- Requires each district school board to provide at least 100 minutes of supervised, safe, and unstructured free-play recess each week for students in kindergarten through grade 5.
- Deletes the requirement for students who participate in two full seasons of an interscholastic sport to pass a competency test on personal fitness in order to satisfy the physical education credit required for graduation with a standard high school diploma.
- Removes the option for the school district receiving an exceptional student with a disability, who resides in a residential facility, to decline to provide or contract for educational instruction.
- Authorizes a parent to request and be granted permission student’s absence from school for treatment of autism spectrum disorder by a licensed healthcare practitioner; and:
- Requires each district school board to adopt an attendance policy authorizing a student’s absence for treatment of autism spectrum disorder.
- Revises an exemption relating to parental responsibility for nonattendance of a student to include treatment for autism spectrum disorder.
[NOTE: There is no direct House companion bill, but several House bills contain comparable provisions, including HB 549 and HB 773. HB 549 has passed the House and is available for consideration in the Senate. HB 773 has passed all committees of reference and is on 3rd Reading in the House (see below).]
SB 1222 – School Grades by Bradley
This bill reduces the percentage of students that must be scheduled to be assigned to another school from 60% to a majority (over 50%). With this change, a K-3 school that does not receive a school grade itself will be assigned the school grade of a graded school for which it is designated to be a feeder pattern school. A designated feeder pattern school may be eligible to receive Florida School Recognition Program funding and a charter school that is an expanded feeder chain of a charter school within the same school district that is currently receiving charter school capital outlay funds may be eligible to receive a charter school capital outlay funding allocation. [NOTE: The House companion bill – HB 781 – is similar, has passed the House, and is available for consideration in the Senate.]
SB 1468 – Education by Galvano
- Codifies the requirement for the Auditor General to conduct financial audits of accounts and records of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.
- Codifies the December 31, 2017, deadline by which the Florida Polytechnic University must meet the criteria established in law relating to accreditation; development of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs; and operational framework.
- Authorizes the Commissioner of Education to coordinate, in the event of an emergency, with school districts, Florida College System institutions, and the satellite offices of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Division of Blind Services to assess their needs for resources to enable such entities to reopen as soon as possible after considering the health, safety, and welfare of students and clients.
- Establishes the Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Pilot Program in the Department of Education for a period of three school years to assist selected school districts in implementing comprehensive music education programs for students in kindergarten through grade 2.
- Repeals the eligibility criteria for students to participate in virtual instruction programs.
- Removes the requirement that student enrollment in a virtual instruction program be limited to a program provided by a school district or virtual charter school operated by the district in which the student resides.
- Deems participants in on-the-job training activities administered by the Division of Blind Services (DBS) and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) as employees of the state for purposes of workers’ compensation coverage.
[NOTE: There is no direct House companion bill but some provisions are addressed in several stand-alone bills, including HB 833 which is comparable, has passed the House and is available for consideration in the Senate.]
SB 1314 – Educational Options by Grimsley
The bill revises the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program to:
- Require the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) to provide a copy to the Scholarship-Funding Organization (SFO) of its letter denying an application for a tax credit and approving or denying any of the following transactions:
- An application for a carryforward tax credit.
- The conveyance, transfer, or assignment of a tax credit.
- The rescindment of a tax credits.
- Acknowledgement of tax credits.
- Allow a dependent child of a parent or guardian who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces to apply for the FTC at any time.
- Specify that a parent must approve any payment made by funds transfer.
- Change the deadline from September 15 to August 15 for a private school participating in the FTC to submit its report to the SFO on the results of its agreed-upon procedures.
- Provide that the Commissioner has the discretion to determine that a private school that is unable to meet the program requirements or has consecutive years of material exceptions listed in its agreed-upon procedures report is ineligible to participate in the FTC program.
- Authorize the Learning System Institute at the Florida State University to be compensated for additional research through the project grant award issued by the DOE.
- Increases (from the current 82%) the FTC scholarship award amount to a percentage of the unweighted FTE funding amount for that state fiscal year and thereafter as follows:
- 88% for a student in kindergarten through grade 5.
- 92% for a student enrolled in grades 7-8.
- 96% for a student enrolled in grades 9-12.
- Raise the transportation scholarship award for a student who chooses a public school outside of his or her district from $500 to $750.
- Provide that an SFO can make payments by fund transfer and specifies that a student’s scholarship award may not be reduced for debit card or electronic payment fees.
- Revise provisions relating to home education programs to provide:
- A school district is prohibited from requiring certain information from a home education program parent unless the student chooses to participate in a school district program or service;
- A school district is prohibited from taking certain actions against a home education program student’s parent unless such action is required for a school district program or service;
- A district superintendent is prohibited from requiring certain evidence relating to a child’s age from children enrolled in specified private, religious, tutoring, and home education programs.
[NOTE: The House companion bill – HB 15 – is comparable, has passed the House, and is available for consideration in the Senate. Note that HB 15 addresses other scholarship programs in addition to the Florida Tax Credit Program.]
SB 1210 – Instructional Materials in K-12 Public Education by Lee
The bill revises provisions relating to the definition and acquisition of instructional materials. Specifically, the bill:
- Defines “legal resident” or “resident” to mean a person who has maintained his or her legal residence in the state for the preceding year, has purchased a home that is occupied by him or her as his or her residence, or has established a domicile in this state pursuant to Florida law.
- Requires a district school board to adopt a policy regarding the right of a parent or legal resident of the county to object to the use of an instructional material based on specified criteria or contest the district school boards’ adoption of specific instructional materials.
- Revises the review process for district school boards that implement their own instructional materials review program.
- Requires district school board, upon a written request, to provide access to any instructional material or book specified in the written request, which is maintained in a district school system library and is available for review.
- Removes the requirement for school districts to purchase digital or electronic instructional material with the instructional materials allocation.
[NOTE: The House companion bill – HB 989 – is comparable, has passed the House, and is available for consideration in the Senate.]
SB 360 – Middle School Study by Stargel
The bill requires DOE to issue a competitive bid for a private vendor to conduct a comprehensive study of states with high-performing students in grades 6 through 8 in reading and mathematics, based on the states’ performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The DOE must submit a report on the findings of the study and make recommendations to improve middle school student performance to the Governor, the State Board of Education, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 2017. Specifically, the study must review, at a minimum:
- Academic expectations and instructional strategies.
- Attendance policies and student mobility issues.
- Teacher quality.
- Middle school administrator leadership and performance.
- Parental and community involvement.
[NOTE: The House companion bill – HB 293 – is comparable, has passed the House, and is available for consideration in the Senate.]
SB 1582 – Workers’ Compensation Insurance by Bradley
The bill amends several provisions relating to Florida’s workers’ compensation and the Insurance Code. The bill:
- Codifies Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg, by increasing temporary total disability benefits and temporary partial disability benefits from 104 weeks to 260 weeks.
- Amends the attorney fee provision to require the Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC) to consider certain factors in determining if the attorney fees should be increased or decreased, based on a maximum hourly rate of $250. The bill removes the criminal penalty for claimant attorneys receiving fees that are not approved by the JCCs, thereby allowing claimants to enter into retainer agreements. The bill eliminates the attorney fee cap of $1,500 on medical-only claims.
- Requires greater specificity in the information that must be provided in petitions for benefits filed with the Office of Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC), such as the specific date of maximum medical improvement and the specific date that such permanent benefits are claimed to begin.
- Clarifies that deadlines within multiple provisions relating to medical care are based on business days, not calendar days. For example, the bill requires carriers to authorize or deny medical authorization requests within three business days.
- Revises the workers’ compensation rating law. Currently, Florida law requires carriers, or rating organization filing on their behalf, to file an administered rate or full rate. The bill implements loss costs rating, which requires each insurer to seek approval for rates based on aggregate claim information filed by a rating organization with individual company data (loss costs multipliers), being used for the final rate, subject to approval by the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR).
- Limits defense and cost containment expenses of insurers to 15 percent of incurred losses, and provides that excessive defense and cost containment fees must be returned to policyholders.
- Creates a presumption that firefighters who have multiple myeloma or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are presumed to have contracted one of these occupational diseases in the course and scope of employment. This provision will extend workers’ compensation benefits to firefighters who have either of these conditions.
- Provides an appropriation of $823,118 to the OIR and $24,720 to the Office of Judges of Compensation Claims to cover the costs associated with these changes.
[NOTE: The House companion bill – HB 7085 – is comparable, has passed the House, and is available for consideration in the Senate.]
The House will be in Session (10:30 am-completion; House Chamber) to consider the following items and others:
Bills on 3rd Reading
HB 773 – K-12 Student Assessments by M. Diaz
The bill revises and adds to existing provisions relating to assessments and incorporates all or part of several other bills. The bill:
- Deletes provisions requiring the Algebra II EOC assessment to be administered and that certain students take the assessment;
- Requires that all statewide, standardized assessments, including statewide EOC assessments, be delivered in a computer-based format; however, beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, the statewide, standardized ELA and mathematics assessments for grades 3 through 6 must be administered in a nonelectronic format;
- Moves the date by which the commissioner must publish the uniform assessment calendar on the DOE’s website from August to January of each year;
- Requires, beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, that the grade 3 statewide, standardized ELA assessment, the writing portion of the ELA assessments, and paper-based assessments be administered during a 2-week assessment window that starts no earlier than April 1 each year;
- Requires that computer-based statewide, standardized assessments be administered during a 4-week assessment window that starts no earlier than May 1 each year;
- Requires each school district to administer those assessments no earlier than 4 weeks before the last day of school for the district;
- Requires results from the grade 3 statewide, standardized ELA assessment to be made available no later than May 31 and the results from all other statewide assessments to be made available no later than June 30;
- Requires the results of statewide, standardized ELA and mathematics assessments, including assessment retakes, to be reported to students, parents, and each student’s teacher of record for the subsequent year in an easy-to-read and understandable format and in time to provide useful, actionable information and specifies information that must be included; o Requires that the student learning growth formula be developed by a third party independent of the statewide, standardized assessment administrator and requires the independent third party to verify the suitability statewide assessment results for student learning growth measures;
- Requires the commissioner to provides schools access to individual student learning growth data in a user-friendly format that enables teachers and school administrators to understand, evaluate, and use the data for specified purposes;
- Requires the commissioner to contract for an independent study to determine whether the SAT and ACT may be administered in lieu of the grade 10 statewide, standardized ELA assessment and the Algebra I EOC assessment consistent with federal provisions for locally-selected assessments under the Every Student Succeeds Act;
- Requires the commissioner, beginning with the 2019-2020 school year and every 3 years thereafter, to publish on the DOE’s website each statewide, standardized assessment and statewide EOC assessment, as well as materials to help the public interpret the published assessment information. The commissioner may determine the schedule for publishing assessments during the 3-year period; however, the initial publication must include the grade 3 ELA and mathematics assessments, the grade 10 ELA assessment, and the Algebra I EOC assessment.
- Provides for appropriations related to the assessment study, reporting of student assessment results, the transition of certain statewide, standardized assessments to a paper-based format, and the provisions for student learning growth.
- Provides that a student may satisfy the online course requirement for a standard high school diploma by completing a blended learning course;
- Removes the prior year in public school requirement and provides that all K-12 students, including home education and private school students, are eligible for both full-time and part-time virtual instruction options.
- Removes passage of an online content assessment, by which the student demonstrates skills and competency in locating information and applying technology for instructional purposes, as an option to fulfill the online course requirement.
- Provides that a school board member is permitted to visit district operated schools without an appointment;
- Provides that, except for a school district or a consortium of school districts that implements an instructional materials program, each district school board shall use the annual instructional materials allocation only for the purchase of instructional materials that align with state standards and are included on the state-adopted list, except up to 50% of the annual allocation may be used for:
- The purchase of library and reference books and non-print materials;
- The purchase of other materials having intellectual content which assist in the instruction of a subject or course;
- The repair and renovation of textbooks and library books and replacements for items which were part of previously purchased instructional materials;
- Revises educator certification, professional development, and teacher preparation program requirements as follows:
- Provides that a temporary certificate holder who completes a DOE approved program and earns a highly effective rating will qualify for a renewable professional certificate without having to complete additional classwork or pass the Professional Education Test.
- Allows charter schools and charter management organizations to offer a professional development certification and educator competence program and requires the mentorship and induction component of the program to, at a minimum, provide weekly opportunities for mentoring and induction activities. The mentorship and induction activities must be provided for a teacher’s first year in the program and may be provided until the teacher attains his or her professional certificate.
- Requires the DOE to adopt standards for approving a professional development certification and educator competence program, including the mentorship and induction component.
- Allows mentoring activities, including serving as a mentor, to count towards a teacher’s inservice requirements for certification renewal.
- Requires professional development activities to provide training to mentors. The training must include components on teacher development, peer coaching, time management, and other related topics as determined by the DOE.
- Requires model professional development programs disseminated by the DOE to include effective mentorship activities to new teachers and training to mentors.
- Streamlines the temporary certificate application process and revises provisions related to the expiration of a temporary certificate.
- Revises core curricula requirements for certain teacher preparation programs to include certain reading instruction and interventions;
- Requires certain educator preparation institutes to provide evidence of specified reading instruction as a condition of program approval and continued approval; amending s. 1012.585, F.S.; 382 Revises requirements for renewal of professional teaching certificates;
- Authorizes the DOE to recommend consolidation of endorsement areas and requirements for endorsements for teacher certificates;
- Revises duties and requirements for implementation of the School Community Professional Development Act and revises activities to include specified training relating to a professional development certification and education competency program;
- Revises requirements for school district professional development systems.
- Requires DOE to issue a competitive solicitation for a contract to conduct a comprehensive study of states with high-performing students in grades 6 through 8 in reading and mathematics, based on the states’ performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and report recommendations to improve middle school performance December 2017;
- Deletes the requirement for middle grade students to complete the career and education planning course;
- Removes the annual teacher bonus limits for IB, AICE, AP and CAPE courses and requires the district to allocate at least 80% of the AICE exam bonus funds to the school program that generates the funds;
- Provides that a charter school may be exempt from the controlled open enrollment requirements if the school is open to any student covered in an interdistrict agreement and any student residing in the school district in which the charter school is located;
- Provides that, if the sponsor fails to act on the application of a High Performing Charter School within 90 (rather than 60) days after receipt, the application is deemed approved;
- Provides that a high-performing charter school may establish more than one charter school within the state in any year if it operates in the area of a persistently low-performing school and serves students from that school;
- Streamlines the process for the application and replication of high-performing charter schools;
- Authorizes the use of district capital outlay millage revenue for payout of sick leave and annual leave accrued as of June 30, 2017 by individuals who are no longer employed by a school district that transfers to a charter school operator all day-to-day classroom instruction responsibility for all full-time equivalent students; this provisions expires July 1, 2018;
- Provides that strategies to assist schools identified for differentiated accountability must address, among other things, alignment across grade levels to improve background 1654 knowledge in social studies, science, and the arts.
[NOTE: The Senate companion bill – SB 926 – is comparable, has passed all committees of reference, and is on the Senate Calendar on 2nd Reading (see above). In addition, another House bill – HB 549 – contains some comparable provisions, has passed the House, and is available for consideration in the Senate.]
SB 256 — Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching by Steube
The bill repeals the July 1, 2017, expiration date of The Florida Center for the Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching (PAInT) which is created within the University of South Florida Sarasota/Manatee. PAInT was established to increase the knowledge and research of arts-integrated instruction statewide, provide analysis of arts-integrated programs, and to partner with arts and educational organizations to introduce arts-integrated programs to more Florida Schools. Arts-integrated instruction is a teaching method in which the arts and academics are woven together to strengthen students’ understanding and retention of academic material. PAInT maintains partnerships with its host communities of Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties and to schools and districts across Florida, including public, private, and charter schools. [NOTE: On 2nd Reading, the House substituted the House companion – HB 6017 – for this bill, which is identical.]