FSBA Session Spotlight — April 3, 2018

In a series of floor sessions in March, the full Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) trimmed down its original list of proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution from more than 100 to 24 – 5 of which are of primary interest to school boards.  The proposals have now been referred to the CRC Style & Drafting…

Major school voucher expansion proposals won’t be on November ballot

When the members of the Constitution Revision Commission were appointed by Florida’s top political leaders, the list was full of prominent school choice advocates. It seemed the CRC was gearing up to amend Florida’s constitution to finally allow for the major expansion of school vouchers the Legislature has long sought.  Instead, the 37-member commission dropped its two…

PolitiFact Florida: Rick Scott says K-12, state university funding is highest in last six years

Gov. Rick Scott bragged that his final state budget continues a trend of record funding for education.  “For the sixth straight year, we have secured record funding for K-12 and state universities to ensure every student has the opportunity to receive a world-class education in Florida,” he wrote in a letter to Florida Secretary of…

The new struggle for Florida schools: Paying for education — and security

Florida school district leaders are faced with a school security dilemma.  Lawmakers are requiring them to add armed safety officers or “guardians” to every elementary, middle and high school campus, and they set aside $170 million for the task. But that won’t come close to projected costs.  The gap — as little as $500,000 in…

State’s new school safety law hits roadblocks

Gov. Rick Scott heaped praise on lawmakers for approving what he called “historic” school safety changes only three weeks after the slaughter of 17 people at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  But the fast-tracked measure has hit roadblocks since Scott signed it into law earlier this month. Lawsuits and a swirl of questions about…

Gov. Scott details timeline for school district safety upgrades after Parkland shooting

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has sent a letter to the state’s school superintendents and school board members, detailing his expectations for school security upgrades.  The letter includes a timeline for response by school districts to the fatal shooting on Feb. 14 of 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland,…

Federal Spending Bill Would Boost Education Aid, Reject Trump Choice Push

Lawmakers sent a message to President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in their bill to fund the federal government: We’re not the biggest fans of your big education ideas.  Congress would increase spending at the U.S. Department of Education by $2.6 billion over previously enacted levels in fiscal year 2018, up…

School Board member term limits moves forward in Florida Constitution Revision Commission

Term limits for school board members — one of the most popular proposals before the Florida Constitution Revision Commission — took a step closer to the November ballot on Wednesday.  The measure, which would hold board members to two consecutive terms if approved, won strong support from the commission. It voted 27-6 to advance the…

Charter schools firm asks districts to provide resource officers to all its campuses by April 1

Just days after Gov. Rick Scott signed Florida’s new school safety rules into law, one of the state’s largest charter schools made a big ask of the 13 districts where it operates.  “In keeping with the spirit of the Act, we request that a full time School Resource Officer be provided to each of the…

Constitution Revision Commission member Donalds withdraws proposal to end superintendent elections in Florida

A proposal to ask voters to end Florida’s practice of allowing school districts to elect their superintendents will not go to the state Constitution Revision Commission today, as had been anticipated.  Its sponsor, Collier County School Board member Erika Donalds, quietly withdrew the item from further consideration late Tuesday. It already had won support from…