Florida adds new voucher program, more schools receive public money as participation declines

The number of students using state vouchers to attend private schools has dipped for the first time in recent years as corporate contributions have slowed.  At the same time, the number of campuses receiving state-backed scholarships continues to grow. The funding allows children to attend largely unregulated and mostly religious schools. Read More

Florida education commissioner gives his department an A for its legislative successes

Calling the recently wrapped Florida legislative session “amazing,” education commissioner Richard Corcoran said his team earned a top grade for achieving its goals.  “We pretty much got 93 percent of the legislative agenda,” Corcoran told the State Board of Education during its meeting Wednesday in Tampa.  He included among those successes bills — now laws…

FSBA Session Spotlight — May 15, 2019

We are pleased to announce the publication of the FSBA 2019 Legislative Session Summary. Our Summary provides an in-depth analysis of the education related funding in the state budget and detailed summaries of the education related bills passed during the session.  We will update our Summary if, during the coming days, Governor DeSantis chooses to…

FSBA Session Spotlight — May 4, 2019

The 2019 Legislative Session has adjourned, sine die, with public education enjoying some important victories in education funding and policy, but also enduring some significant disappointments.  We are still sorting through the final bill actions, including the status of last minute amendments to the bills that are of interest, but we have provided a PRELIMINARY…

Major education bill to create new school voucher and redo teacher bonuses passes Florida House

A far-reaching, omnibus education bill that creates a new private school voucher and restructures the state’s teacher bonus program is on its way to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk, after the Florida House passed it on Tuesday. The bill, Senate Bill 7070, achieves a goal that has been sought by Republicans since Jeb Bush was governor:…

FSBA Session Spotlight — April 30, 2019

With only four days remaining in the 2019 Legislative Session, you may wish to take a few minutes to view our FSBA Weekly Video Update featuring FSBA Executive Director Andrea Messina providing a recap of the main events during the eighth week of the Session.  As we’ve mentioned, the pace will be very fast for…

Florida Legislature finishes K-12 education budget with $248 increase per student

Florida lawmakers said they were finished negotiating the preK-12 education portion of the budget during a Sunday evening meeting, closing out one of the largest and typically one of the most contentious areas of the state’s massive funding plan.  If the session is to finish on time, the entire state budget must be finished by…

FSBA Session Spotlight — April 29, 2019

As we enter what is scheduled to be the last week of the 2019 Legislative Session, new procedural rules will kick in that will make the schedule both hectic and unpredictable. During this week in floor sessions, both chambers will focus on bills on 2nd and/or 3rd Reading, on bills passed back and forth in…

Florida Senate passes major education bill that creates new school voucher

The Florida Senate passed a massive education bill Thursday that would create a new private school voucher that is funded out the state’s per-student funding traditionally reserved almost solely for districts.  Its passage marks yet another victory for those wanting to expand different schooling options funded by the state, but likely sets a course for…

FSBA Session Spotlight — April 24, 2019

As reported in Tuesday’s Session Spotlight, the Budget Conference Committees have been assembled and begun work on resolving differences between the House and Senate budgets. Last night, the Higher Education Budget Conference Committee met and the House has made an initial offer on a variety of issues, including Workforce Education.  The PreK-12 Conference Committee is…