Bill again filed to require ‘supermajority’ to raise local taxes

A bill is back in the Florida House for 2020 that would require a supermajority vote for a local tax referendum.  HJR 477 would, if passed, allow a referendum to let voters decide whether to require a two-thirds majority for any municipality or subsidiary form of government to raise taxes. Read More

Florida pre-k issues leave lawmakers with long to-do list

On a recent day at Celebration Baptist Kinderschool, the 4-year-olds gathered with their legs crisscrossed on their multicolored carpet to listen to a book about bats.  “What’s that big word we learned?” the teacher asked, referencing a previous lesson about owls.  “Nocturnal!” the toddlers shouted back. Read More  

Florida’s armed teachers get liability coverage in policy reversal

Florida teachers who are armed on campus will now be covered under the state’s liability insurance, so long as they act within their duties outlined in state law.  The policy change was quietly made by department officials on August 17, representing a reversal after the department had specifically excluded armed teachers from its policy. Read…

Department of Justice Awards More than $85.3 Million in Grants to Address School Violence

Today, the Department of Justice announced it has awarded more than $85.3 million to bolster school security — including funding to educate and train students and faculty — and support first responders who arrive on the scene of a school shooting or other violent incident. Read More Fact Sheet Listing Award Recipients

FSBA Session Spotlight – October 21, 2019

The Legislature will hold a third round of Interim Committee Meetings this week. Education related Committees and Subcommittees will receive information on educator professional development, health concerns for student athletes, workforce development issues, and teacher compensation.  Committees also will consider a few bills of interest, including bills relating to public records, athletic trainers, homelessness, and…

Florida House looks for ways to boost teacher pay

A House education panel on Thursday began delving into the issue of raising teacher pay, with a key lawmaker saying that while “everything is on the table,” the panel still needs to figure out where the money would come from.Rep. Chris Latvala, a Clearwater Republican who chairs the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee, said his panel…

School boards urge justices to decide education fight

Saying the case involves protecting “local control over local schools by local representatives answerable to local voters,” nine county school boards urged the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday to take up a battle about a 2017 state law that sought to bolster charter schools. Read More

Florida’s Post-Parkland Experiment: To Deter Mass Shootings, Some School Districts Are Creating Their Own Police Departments

By his own admission, Kenneth Wagner isn’t “a super-religious person.” But the police chief in suburban Jacksonville recently found himself pleading with God — praying enough people would apply in time to fill close to 50 job openings.  Earlier this year, after lawmakers in Florida required school districts to heighten security following a mass school…

Environmentalists mostly welcome Florida’s plan to spend VW settlement money on cleaner buses

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced this week that it will use most of the $166 million it received in Volkswagen settlement money to replace diesel buses and shuttle vans with electric models  . . . Some $5 million of that $116 million will help districts replace older diesel school buses with electric…