Going into the 2015 Florida legislative session, Senate Education Committee chairman John Legg said only one school-related bill mattered: Changes to the state’s testing system.
In the end, that’s all lawmakers could manage to accomplish before the House abruptly ended session three days early over budget disagreements.
HB 7069 is one of just nine bills that made it through both chambers and was signed by Gov. Rick Scott into law. School districts across the state are now taking advantage of the measure, cutting local tests and changing their first day of classes even before the Department of Education can deliver its official technical guidance.
As for the rest of the dozens of education bills, Legg said almost without exception they’re dead until the next regular session. That includes a proposed rewrite of high school athletics oversight rules, expanded school choice options, revised charter school governance, provisions to allow some teachers to carry concealed weapons and incentives for districts to adopt student uniforms. Manyof these ideas had been written into a single bill (SB 948) as an effort to carry them forward in the waning days of the session.