In the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee:
HB 921 – Instructional Materials / Adoption by M. Gaetz – PASSED WITH A CS
Revises provisions relating to review, selection, & adoption of instructional materials; requires instructional materials to be in digital format; provides duties of district school boards relating to district-adopted instructional materials & requisition of materials; revises duties of publishers & manufacturers; revises provisions relating to use of instructional materials allocation. [NOTE: The bill was substantially amended today via a “Strike-All” amendment that retains the state instructional materials review, selection, and adoption process, provides additional guidelines for the existing OPTION for a school district to conduct its own review, selection, and adoption process, and incorporates requirements the district to provide opportunities for public review and comment of all instructional materials used by the district. The amended bill specifies that, regardless of whether the materials are adopted via the state or local district process, each district school board is responsible for the content of all instructional materials used in a classroom. This amended version, though not perfect, addresses many of FSBA’s concerns about the legislation.]
HB 1053 – Teacher Education by Castor Dentel – PASSED
Revises eligibility criteria for receipt of minority teacher education scholarship; revises funding for administration & training program carried out by board of directors of Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc.
HB 1121 – Hazardous Walking Conditions by Metz – PASSED
Revises criteria that determine hazardous walking condition for public school students; revises procedures for inspection & identification of hazardous conditions; requires district school boards to provide transportation to students who would be subjected to hazardous conditions; requires state or local entities with jurisdiction over road with hazardous condition to state whether the correction of the condition will be included in its next 5-year capital improvement program or to provide written justification for the omission from the 5-year capital improvement program. [NOTE: The Senate companion bill – SB 1382 – will be considered later today in Senate Community Affairs (see below)].
HB 7165 – Digital Learning & Support Services by Education – PASSED WITH A CS
Requires DOE to develop a five-year strategic plan for Florida digital classrooms; provides for oversight of the development and implementation of the plan by the Commissioner of Education; repurposes local instructional improvement systems (LIIS) as district digital classrooms systems and provides requirements for the systems; requires each school district to develop and submit to the DOE for approval a digital classrooms system plan to improve student performance through the district’s digital classrooms system and establishes required plan content; requires the State Board of Education report the progress each school district has made in establishing the digital classrooms system and integrating such technology into classroom teaching and learning as well as the impact on student performance; etc.
In the Senate Judiciary Committee:
SB 1400 – Postsecondary Student Tuition by Latvala – PASSED
Provides that an undocumented immigrant is eligible for the waiver of out-of-state fees at a public postsecondary education institution if he or she spends 3 consecutive years in this state before graduating from high school in this state; provides that these undocumented immigrants are not eligible for state financial aid; clarifies that U.S. citizens who are dependents of undocumented immigrants may not be denied in-state tuition solely based on the undocumented status of their parents; grants tuition waivers to combat-decorated veterans who attend career centers; eliminates the automatic annual tuition increases at public postsecondary institutions; reduces the costs of prepaid contracts from the Florida Prepaid Program; etc.
In the House Appropriations Committee:
HB 295 – Employment after Retirement by Porter – PASSED; PLACED ON CALENDAR ON 2ND READING
Revises provisions relating to reemployment of retirees as instructional personnel on contract basis; provides legislative intent & findings to clarify authorization to award contracts; provides requirements for judgment in certain civil actions or administrative proceedings.
HB 875 – Education Fiscal Accountability by M. Diaz – PASSED WITH A CS
Requires school report cards to include school & school district return-on-investment (ROI) ratings; requires Commissioner of Education to establish ROI index to evaluate extent to which schools & school districts are using financial resources to improve student performance; requires commissioner to assign & publish ROI ratings; creates Schoolhouse Funding Pilot Program subject to annual appropriation; provides requirements for pilot school participating in program. [NOTE: FSBA has several concerns about this bill, particularly with regard to the described Pilot Program.]
HB 7069 – Early Learning by Education – PASSED WITH A CS
Changes terminology relating to school readiness & family day care; revises certain requirements & standards relating to child care facilities, VPK program, & school readiness program; revises provisions relating to exemption from certain licensing standards; revises duties of Office of Early Learning & early learning coalitions.
In the Senate Community Affairs Committee:
SB 1382 – Hazardous Walking Conditions by Hays – PASSED WITH A CS
Revising criteria that determine a hazardous walking condition for public school students; revising procedures for inspection and identification of hazardous walking conditions; requiring a district school board to provide transportation to students who would be subjected to hazardous walking conditions; revising provisions relating to funding for the transportation of students subjected to a hazardous walking condition; providing requirements relating to a civil action for damages, etc. [NOTE: The bill was amended to require state or local entities with jurisdiction over road with hazardous condition to state whether the correction of the condition will be included in its next 5-year capital improvement program or to provide written justification for the omission from the 5-year capital improvement program, bringing it into alignment with the House version of the bill – HB 1121 (see House Appropriations above)].
SB 1474 – Public Officers and Employees by Abruzzo – PASSED WITH A CS
Authorizing the electors of a political subdivision to impose additional or more stringent standards of conduct and disclosure requirements upon the political subdivision’s officers and employees; requiring a local ethics agency or commission to establish certain procedures, etc.
SB 1034 – Renovation of Educational Facilities by Latvala – TEMPRORARILY DEFERRED
Requiring school districts, state universities and Florida College System institutions to retrofit the doors and windows of educational facilities to comply with certain Florida Building Code standards; providing funding through the capital outlay millage levy and capital outlay funds, etc.
COMING UP TOMORROW
The House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will meet 8:00-10:00am; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following item and others:
HB 753 – School Safety by Stube
Provides exception to prohibition on possession of firearms or other specified devices on school property or other specified areas for authorized concealed weapon or firearm licensees as designated by school principals or district superintendents; provides requirements for designees; requires school boards to formulate policies & procedures for dealing with active shooters & hostage situations; requires that active shooter training for each school be conducted by law enforcement agency that is first responder agency for school; requires district school boards & private schools allow campus tours by local law enforcement agencies for specified purposes & that their recommendations be documented; permits district school boards to commission one or more school safety officers on each school campus. [NOTE: FSBA is strongly opposed to this bill.]
The Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee will meet – 9:00-11:00 am; Florida Channel webcast – to consider:
SB 514 – Gender-Specific School Pilot Project by Flores
Requiring the Department of Education to administer a pilot project in certain school districts in which an elementary school is designated as a Gender-Specific School; requiring school administrators and instructional personnel to participate in certain professional development; providing for funding for pilot project implementation, etc.
SB 530 – Instructional Materials Affordability by Flores
Requiring the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors to adopt textbook and instructional materials affordability policies, procedures, and guidelines; providing requirements for the use of adopted undergraduate textbooks and instructional materials and authorizing exceptions; requiring a public postsecondary institution to post in its course registration system and on its website information relating to required and recommended textbooks and instructional materials and prices thereof, etc.
SB 886 – Teachers Classroom Supply Program by Montford
Revising procedures for distributing program funds to classroom teachers, etc.
SB 950 – Education / Teacher Certification by Stargel
Authorizing a school district to assign to a school that has earned failing grades certain newly hired instructional personnel; revising the powers of a district school superintendent to include authorization to assign certain newly hired instructional personnel to a school that has earned failing grades based on the judgment of a school principal; deleting obsolete provisions relating to acceptable means of demonstrating mastery of professional development; revising certain requirements for the renewal or reinstatement of a professional certificate, etc.
SB 1512 – Students with Disabilities by Stargel
Establishing the Florida Personalized Accounts for Learning; specifying criteria for students who are eligible to participate in the program; prohibiting specific providers, schools, institutions, school districts, and other entities from sharing, refunding, or rebating program funds; requiring a school district to notify the parent regarding the option to participate in the program; specifying the school district’s responsibilities for completing a matrix of services and notifying the Department of Education of the completion of the matrix, etc. [NOTE: FSBA has several concerns about this bill. It creates a new voucher program that has insufficient programmatic, fiscal, and academic accountability.]
The House will be in Session – 10:30 am-N/A ; Florida Channel webcast – to consider their budget, implementing, and conforming bills on 2nd Reading, including:
HB 5001 – Appropriations by Appropriations
HB 5003 – Appropriations Implementing by Appropriations
HB 5005 – FRS / Contribution Rates by Appropriations
HB 5009 – Education Capital Outlay by Appropriations
HB 5101 – Education Funding by Education Appropriations
The Senate Rules Committee will meet – 4:00-6:00 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following items and others:
SB 72 – Legislative Session Dates by Flores
Fixing the date for convening the regular session of the Legislature in the year 2016, etc.
SB 566 – Florida Bright Futures Scholarships by T. Lee
Requiring a student, as a prerequisite for the Florida Academic Scholars award, the Florida Medallion Scholars award, or the Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award, to identify a social or civic issue or a professional area of interest and develop a plan for his or her personal involvement in addressing the issue or learning about the area; prohibiting the student from receiving remuneration or academic credit for the volunteer service work performed, etc.
SB 602 – Residency/Candidates/Public Officers by Latvala
Requiring a candidate or public officer required to reside in a specific geographic area to have only one domicile at a time; providing factors that may be considered when determining residency; providing exceptions for active duty military members, etc.
IN THE NEWS
Naples Daily News – 4/1/14
Legislature may allow school districts to choose their own textbooks
Washington Post – 3/29/14
Long “waiting list” for Florida vouchers doesn’t actually exist