UPDATE ON SB 1528 RELATING TO CHARTER SCHOOLS
As we reported yesterday, a confusing series of strike-all, substitute, and late-filed amendments made it difficult to determine exactly what the outcome was when the Senate Education Appropriations considered this bill on Wednesday. We promised an update on this bill once we were able to sort through all of the amendments. It is now evident that this bill has been stripped down to address a single issue. Specifically, the bill states that an application for a charter school may be made by the military installation commander of a military installation, if the commander is a member of the charter school’s not-for-profit governing board, the charter school is located on the military installation, and the governing board operates the charter school or contracts with a management company or similar entity to operate the charter school. Thus, the bill no longer contains any provisions relating to the charter school contract, termination or non-renewal of a charter contract, or issues relating to suspension or dismissal of charter school students.
In the Senate Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee:
SB 1114 – FRS / Cash Balance Plan by Community Affairs – PASSED WITH A CS
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.
In the House Education Committee:
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 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 – PASSED
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 – PASSED WITH A CS
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 correct condition.
In the Senate Appropriations Committee:
SB 514 – Gender-Specific School Pilot Project by Flores – PASSED WITH A CS
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 – PASSED
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.
In the House Appropriations Committee:
HB 487 – Agricultural Industry Certifications by Raburn – PASSED WITH A CS
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 – PASSED
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.
COMING UP TOMORROW
The House Economic Affairs Committee will meet – 8:00 am-12:00 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following item and others:
HB 147 – Concrete Masonry Education by Caldwell
Creates Florida Concrete Masonry Education Council, Inc.; requires council to operate under written contract with DEO; provides powers & duties of council; provides restrictions; provides for appointment & terms of governing board of council; authorizes council to accept grants, donations, contributions, & gifts under certain circumstances; authorizes council to make payments to other organizations under certain circumstances; provides for collection of voluntary assessment on concrete masonry units; requires manufacturers who elect to pay assessment to commit to paying assessment for a specified period; requires council to adopt bylaws; provides for adoption of bylaws & amendments to bylaws.
The House Judiciary Committee will meet – 8:00 am-12:00 pm; 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 House State Affairs Committee will meet – 8:00 am-12:00 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following item and others:
HB 1327 – Government Accountability by Metz
Revises various audit provisions to include district school boards or exclude water management districts; revises responsibilities of department heads, Supreme Court, Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation, Justice Administrative Commission, each state attorney & public defender, criminal conflict & civil regional counsel, capital collateral counsel, Guardian Ad Litem program, local governmental entities, & governing bodies of charter schools to include responsibility of establishing certain internal controls; revises responsibilities of district school board’s internal auditor to permit certain audits & reviews; requires each Florida College System institution to file certain annual financial statements with State Board of Education; requires each school district, , Florida College System institution, & state university to establish certain internal controls.
HB 7107 – Administrative Procedures by Rulemaking
Revises requirements for notice of rule development, notice of proposed rule, & notice of change; authorizes electronic delivery of certain notices; revises requirements for certain agency filings with JAPC; requires certain agency personnel to attend public hearings; requires agency to publish notice of convening separate proceeding & tolling rulemaking deadlines during separate proceedings; revises requirements for substantially affected persons to submit proposals for lower cost regulatory alternatives following notice of change; revises requirements for agency’s consideration of lower cost regulatory alternatives; provides addition documents to be listed on agency website under certain conditions; provides additional requirements for calculation of estimated regulatory costs; creates presumption of adverse impact on small business; requires petition to establish community development district to include certain economic impacts statement.
The Senate will be in Session – 9:30 am-6:00 pm; Florida Channel webcast – to consider the following items and others:
Bills on 3rd Reading
SB 160 – Food Distributed Free of Charge by Bullard
Limiting the liability of public schools with respect to canned or perishable food donated to charitable or nonprofit organizations, etc.
SB 864 – Instructional Materials / Adoption by Hays
Providing that the district school board has the constitutional duty and responsibility to select and provide adequate instructional materials for all students; requiring a district school board or consortium of school districts to implement an instructional materials program; repealing provisions relating to bids, proposals, and advertisement regarding the adoption of instructional materials; requiring the district school board, rather than the commissioner, to conduct an independent investigation to determine the accuracy of district-adopted instructional materials, etc. [NOTE: FSBA is opposed to the Senate version of this bill, but supports the House version – HB 921 – with retains the state level review and adoption process and the local level review and adoption OPTION.]
SB 1642 – Education Accountability by Education
Providing definitions for the statewide, standardized assessment program and school grading system; requiring the Department of Education to develop a district report card; revising criteria that necessitate a school’s improvement plan to include certain strategies; revising legislative intent for the K-20 education performance accountability system, etc. [NOTE: FSBA continues to have concerns that this bill (and its House companion — HB 7117) does not go far enough to address the issues relating to the transition to new state standards and assessments.]
SB 358 – Volunteers / Organized Youth Sports by Ring
Revising the definition of the term “athletic coach”; expanding provisions relating to athletic coaches for independent sanctioning authorities to require such authorities to conduct specified background screening of certain coaches of youth athletic teams; providing that the duty may not be delegated; providing for disqualification; providing for exemption from disqualification; requiring that specified documentation be maintained for a specified period by such authorities, etc.
Bills on 2nd Reading
SB 674 – Background Screening by Bean
Authorizing the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to share reproductions of driver license images with the Department of Health and the Agency for Health Care Administration for specified purposes; exempting a person whose fingerprints are already enrolled in a certain Federal Bureau of Investigation program from the requirement that such fingerprints be forwarded to the bureau; requiring the fingerprints of an employee required to be screened by a specified agency and included in the clearinghouse also to be retained in the national retained print arrest notification program at a specified time, etc.
SB 850 – Education by Legg
Requiring a school that includes certain grades to include information, data, and instructional strategies in its school improvement plan; revising the kind of lab schools that receive a proportional share of the sparsity supplement; requiring a district school board, in consultation with the district school superintendent, to make CAPE Digital Tool certificates and CAPE industry certifications available to students, including students with disabilities, in prekindergarten through grade 12, to enable students to attain digital skills; deleting calculations for paid and unpaid high school credits, etc.
The House will be in Session – 12:30-6:00 pm; Florida Channel Webcast – to consider the following items and others:
Bills on 3rd Reading
HB 7167 – School Choice by Education Appropriations
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 considered on 2nd Reading, 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.]
SB 188 – Education Data Privacy by Hukill
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.
HB 377 – Educational Facilities Financing by Moraitis
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
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
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 NEWS
Tampa Bay Times – 4/9/14
Florida lawmakers clash over school choice
Stuart News – 4/9/14
Florida House: No testing for voucher students
The Florida Current – 4/9/14
House approves “biometrics” ban