LEGISLATIVE SESSION SCHEDULE
In observance of Passover and Easter, neither the House nor the Senate plan to hold any meetings next week – April 14-18, 2014. When legislators return to Tallahassee April 21, only 11 days will remain in the regular Legislative Session. During these final two weeks of the session, there will be few (if any) committee meetings, and much of this remaining time will be taken up with the chambers in Session debating bills on 2nd and 3rd Reading and with the work of Conference Committees in resolving differences between the House and Senate budgets. With regard to the budget, please keep in mind that the Florida Constitution requires a 72-hour “cooling off” period AFTER the budget is printed and BEFORE either chamber may vote on final passage of the budget. This means that the budget must be published no later than midnight on Tuesday, April 29 if the Legislature wished to adjourn on schedule.
In the Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee:
SB 212 – Financial Literacy Education by Hukill — PASSED
Revising the required credits for high school graduation and a standard high school diploma to include one-half credit for instruction in personal financial literacy and seven and one-half, rather than eight, credits in electives, etc.
SB 420 – Fine Arts Courses by Detert – PASSED
Requiring the Commissioner of Education to prepare an annual report relating to student access to and participation in fine arts courses and information on educators, facilities, and instruction in such courses, etc.
SB 598 – Juvenile Justice Education Programs by Bean – PASSED
Revising requirements for the multiagency education plan for students in juvenile justice education programs, including virtual education as an option; authorizing instructional personnel at all juvenile justice facilities to access specific student records at the district; providing expectations for effective education programs for students in Department of Juvenile Justice programs; requiring the Department of Education to ensure that juvenile justice students who are eligible have access to high school equivalency testing and assist juvenile justice education programs with becoming high school equivalency testing centers, etc.
SB 908 – Education Funding / AVID by Montford – PASSED
Providing for the calculation of additional full-time equivalent student membership based on enrollment in Advancement Via Individual Determination elective classes and examination scores; providing for the use of funds, etc.
SB 1292 – Postsecondary Education by Legg – PASSED
Revises governance and functionality of online public postsecondary student support services related to libraries, online courses, and online student advising systems.
SB 1394 – Standard Diploma / Merit Designation by Legg – PASSED WITH A CS
Revising the requirements to earn a Merit designation on a standard high school diploma, etc.
SB 1400 – Postsecondary Student Tuition by Latvala – PASSED WITH A CS
Revising the standard tuition and out-of-state fees for workforce education postsecondary programs leading to certain certificates and diplomas and certain other programs at Florida College System institutions; deleting a requirement that the Office of Economic and Demographic Research annually report the rate of inflation to the Governor, the Legislature, and the State Board of Education; requiring a state university, a Florida College System institution, a career center operated by a school district, or a charter technical career center to waive undergraduate tuition for a recipient of a Purple Heart or another combat decoration superior in precedence under certain conditions, etc.
SB 1528 – Charter Schools by Bradley – PASSED WITH A CS
Authorizing contract disputes to be referred to the Division of Administrative Hearings for summary final order; requiring a charter school to request that withdrawing students or parents of withdrawing students complete a survey; requiring a charter school to annually report information concerning why students leave the charter school to its sponsor and the Department of Education, etc. [NOTE: A confusing series of strike-all, substitute, and late-filed amendments make it difficult to determine the outcome of committee action on this bill. However, it APPEARS that the revised bill retains the Administrative Hearing process to resolve certain charter contract disputes, clarifies language relating to termination or non-renewal of a charter contract; requires a charter school to request that students leaving a charter school complete an survey about the reasons for withdrawal or dismissal from a charter school; specifies that students may be subject to disciplinary action (including suspension or dismissal) only in a manner specified in the charter school’s code of conduct; provides additional criteria for charter schools to be eligible state capital outlay funding. An amendment proposed by Senator Montford that would have removed all reference to a “standard contract” was withdrawn due to assurances from Senator Legg that districts would continue to have flexibility in contract negotiations and a pledge to work with Senator Montford to reach some compromise on this issue. We will continue to review today’s amendments and provide an update, if needed, when the “dust settles” on today’s action.]
In the House Session:
HB 7167 – School Choice by Education Appropriations – READ 2ND TIME; AMENDED; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 4/11/14
Revises & creates provisions relating to educational choice. [NOTE: This is the recently filed House bill that combines the provisions of HB 5103 relating to vouchers for students with disabilities with most of the provisions of HB 7099 relating to the Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Several amendments were offered, but the only one that passed removed the provision for an additional increase – in addition to the automatic increase — in the cap on tax credits that can be applied toward scholarships under the Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The Senate versions of this bill are SB 1512 relating to students with disabilities and SB 1620 relating to the Tax Credit Scholarship Program (which has been withdrawn from further consideration in the Senate due to the lack of sufficient academic accountability measures). FSBA is opposed to all of these bills.]
HB 195 – Education Data Privacy by Raburn – READ 2ND TIME; SUBSTITUTED FOR SB 188; HB 195 LAID ON THE TABLE; REFER TO SB 188
[NOTE: This is the House companion to SB 188 below which has passed the Senate and is now being considered by the House.]
SB 188 – Education Data Privacy by Hukill – SUBSTITUTED FOR HB 195; READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 4/11/14
Providing for annual notice to K-12 students and parents of rights relating to education records; providing limitations on the collection of information and the disclosure of confidential and exempt student records; revising provisions relating to the submission of student social security numbers and the assignment of student identification numbers; requiring the Department of Education to establish a process for assigning student identification numbers, etc. [NOTE: This is the Senate version of HB 195 above.]
HB 377 – Educational Facilities Financing by Moraitis – READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 4/11/14
Revises provisions relating to financing of independent nonprofit higher educational facilities to include financing for private schools meeting certain criteria; revises provisions to conform.
HB 23 – Food Distributed Free of Charge by Rogers – READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 4/11/14 Limits liability of public schools with respect to donation of canned or perishable food to charitable or nonprofit organizations.
HB 85 – Literacy Jump Start Pilot Project by L. Lee – READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 4/11/14
Requires Office of Early Learning (OEL) to establish pilot project in St. Lucie County to assist low-income, at-risk children in developing emergent literacy skills; requires OEL to select organization to implement pilot project; provides eligibility requirements for participation; requires background screening for personnel & emergent literacy training for instructors; requires OEL to allocate funds for pilot project.
In the Senate Rules Committee:
SB 1318 – Public Records / Public-Private Partnerships by Evers – PASSED
Creating an exemption from public records requirements for unsolicited proposals for a qualifying public-private project received by a responsible public entity for a specified period; creating an exemption from public meetings requirements for portions of meetings at which confidential and exempt information is discussed; requiring a recording to be made of a closed portion of a meeting; providing for future repeal and legislative review of the exemptions; providing statements of public necessity, etc.
SB 566 – Florida Bright Futures Scholarships by T. Lee – PASSED
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 – PASSED WITH A CS
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.
SB 1226 – Education / Repealer by Montford – PASSED WITH A CS
Requiring the Auditor General to notify the Legislative Auditing Committee if a district school board fails to take corrective action subsequent to an audit; revising the definition of the term “Next Generation Sunshine State Standards”; revising Department of Education duties relating to the public broadcasting program system; revising course and assessment requirements for the award of a standard high school diploma; revising the effective date of the Adults with Disabilities Workforce Education Pilot Program, etc. [NOTE: The bill was amended to set forth a process by which a school board may increase or modify the number of members on the school board.]
COMING UP TOMORROW
The Senate Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee will meet – 9:00-11:00 am; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following item and others:
SB 1114 – FRS / Cash Balance Plan by Community Affairs
Requiring the Trustees of the State Board of Administration to establish the Florida Retirement System Cash Balance Plan; requiring employees and employers to make contributions for funding the plan; providing that the plan provide a lump-sum or annuity benefit; providing procedures for employees who are members of the pension plan or investment plan before a certain date to transfer to the cash balance plan; providing procedures for employees employed after a certain date to be enrolled in the investment plan or cash balance plan, etc.
The House Education Committee will meet – 10:00 am-12:00 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following items and others:
HB 875 – Education Fiscal Accountability by M. Diaz
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 respect to the Pilot Program. Amendments have been filed to modify the process for the selection of schools that may participate in the pilot and the professional development training to be offered.]
HB 921 – Instructional Materials / Adoption by M. Gaetz
Provides requirements for school district instructional materials program; provides criteria for review, recommendation, & adoption of instructional materials; authorizes district school board to use all of instructional materials annual allocation for purchase of certain digital or electronic instructional materials. [NOTE: This bill was amended last week to retain the state level instructional materials review and adoption process and provide additional requirements for any district that chooses to pursue the OPTION of taking on these responsibilities. FSBA supports the current version of this bill, but opposes the current Senate version — SB 864.]
HB 1053 – Teacher Education by Castor Dentel
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
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 correct condition.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will meet – 1:00-6:00 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following items and others:
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 564 – Security for Public Deposits by Richter
Clarifying provisions relating to public deposits that are exempt from state security requirements; providing that a notice of the default or insolvency of a qualified public depository is not required if the Florida public deposits are acquired by another insured depository; providing that the depository institution acquiring the Florida public deposits is subject to certain requirements; providing that a protection from loss is effective when a public depositor does not comply with certain provisions under specified circumstances, etc.
The House Appropriations Committee will meet – 1:00-5:00 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following items and others:
HB 487 – Agricultural Industry Certifications by Raburn
Requires DOACS to annually provide to SBE & DOE industry certifications for farm occupations to be considered for placement on industry certification funding lists; defines industry certification as part of career education programs; requires rules for implementing industry certification process for farm occupations; revises definition of “agritourism activity.”
HB 7173 – Florida Retirement System by State Affairs
Provides that certain member enrolled in FRS is vested in the pension plan after 10 years of creditable service; provides for compulsory membership in FRS Investment Plan for certain employees; prohibits members of Elected Officers’ Class from joining Senior Management Service Class after specified date; prohibits an elected official eligible for membership in Elected Officers’ Class from enrolling in Senior Management Service Class or in Senior Management Service Optional Annuity Program; closing Senior Management Optional Annuity Program to new members after specified date; increases service time required to qualify for disability benefits to 10 years for certain members; requires certain employees initially enrolled in FRS on or after specified date to be compulsory members of investment plan; provides certain members with specified time to choose participation in pension plan or investment plan.
IN THE NEWS
Deseret News – 4/7/14
Florida to pay Utah $5.4 million for Common Core test rental
StateImpact – 4/9/14
Half as many students will meet tougher Bright Futures Scholarship requirements