Largest school districts may skip armed ‘guardians’ program, even if governor signs it

The Legislature’s new plan to arm school employees as a last line of defense to an active shooter might never get tested in Florida’s biggest school districts.  Officials in 10 of the state’s largest systems, which educate nearly 60 percent of all Florida school children, said they have no intention of giving teachers or other…

FSBA Session Spotlight — March 7, 2018

This afternoon, legislative leaders announced that an agreement has been reached on the $87 billion state budget. Because this is a day later than would be necessary to adjourn on Friday, it is expected that the Session will be extended and the budget will be subject to a final vote on Sunday or Monday. As…

FSBA Session Spotlight — March 6, 2018

Unfortunately, Senate President Negron and House Speaker Corcoran did not complete negotiations on the state budget today. As we have reported, in order for the Session to adjourn on schedule on Friday, March 9, the budget should have been printed before midnight today to allow for the constitutionally required 72-hour “cooling off” period before a…

Sen. Lamar Alexander Backs Changes to ESSA to Improve School Safety

The chairman of the Senate education committee wants to change the main federal education law to allow schools to hire more counselors, make infrastructure improvements, and fund violence-prevention programs.  Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., announced Tuesday that he would introduce the School Safety and Mental Health Service Improvement Act at some point this week. Among other…

FSBA Session Spotlight — March 5, 2018

As we begin the last scheduled week of the 2018 Session, please take a few minutes to view our Legislative Weekly video featuring Andrea Messina providing a recap of recent legislative events and focusing on the key bills and issues that remain to be resolved.  One of those key bills – HB 7055 — was…

Florida Legislature approves vouchers for bullied students

Florida took steps Monday to set up the nation’s first ever private school voucher program for bullied students under a sweeping education bill that the state’s Legislature passed and sent to Gov. Rick Scott.The vote came the same day that legislators also sent to Scott a significant revamp of Florida’s universities and colleges that includes…

There’s a week left for this year’s Legislature. Here’s what’s still undecided in the budget

There’s one week left in this year’s Legislative session, and there’s a lot of money left on the table to be bargained over between House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron.  If lawmakers want to end by Friday, the leaders of both houses need to present a budget by Tuesday. Read More

FSBA Session Spotlight — March 4, 2018

Because the Senate held a rare Saturday floor session, this issue of the Session Spotlight provides our report on bills that were considered on both Friday and Saturday. On Friday, both chambers postponed consideration of their respective public safety bills but legislators did consider several other bills of interest, including bills relating to local tax…