Rep. Fresen’s close ties to charter schools continue to raise questions of conflict

TALLAHASSEE – A familiar face is back at the center of a perennial tug-of-war in the Florida Legislature between privately-managed charter schools and district-run public schools over taxpayer money for construction projects: Erik Fresen, the Miami Republican who controls the purse for education funding in the Florida House. His connections to the charter school industry…

Still waiting for Florida’s 2015 school grades?

The newest Florida school grading formula became official on Tuesday, and state education officials indicated that 2015 school grades based on the formula would follow soon after. Many people expected the results, which will look much like a simulation released in December, on Tuesday concurrent with the new rule taking effect. Thursday morning, however, found school district officials…

FSBA Daily Updates: Legislative Session 02-10-2016

TODAY’S HAPPENINGS [NOTE:  The bills and committees listed below are linked to their respective websites where you can find additional information.] In the House Judiciary Committee: HB 11 – Missing Persons with Special Needs by Porter – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS) Creates pilot projects in specified counties to provide personal devices to aid search-and-rescue efforts…

House bill would limit schools’ construction spending

TALLAHASSEE – With resounding opposition from Democrats and school officials, Republican lawmakers in the Florida House are fast-tracking a proposal to significantly change how public school districts use taxpayer money to fund construction projects, while making it easier for charter schools to get capital dollars. Education budget committee Chairman Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, is spearheading…

FSBA Daily Update: Legislative Session 02-08-2016

CAPITAL OUTLAY FUNDING UPDATE Controversy has arisen from a presentation made at the January 21 meeting of the House Appropriations Committee.  The presentation, made by House Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Eric Fresen, provided information that compared actual school construction costs with the statutorily set costs per student station.  Among other things, this report applied statutory cost…

FSBA Daily Updates: Legislative Session 02-09-2016

TODAY’S HAPPENINGS [NOTE:  The bills and committees listed below are linked to their respective websites where you can find additional information.] In the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee: HB 793 – Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program by O’Toole – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS) Provides that initial award period & renewal period for students who are unable…

Florida’s funding for after-school and mentoring programs could change

TALLAHASSEE — Republican leaders of the Florida Senate want to drastically change how they dole out funding for after-school programs that provide homework help, mentoring and gang prevention services to thousands of children, often living in Florida’s most impoverished and vulnerable neighborhoods. Senators want to increase funding, provide it to more organizations and ensure the…