We look forward to working with school board members who will be in Tallahassee this week for the FSBA Annual Day in the Legislature. To assist you in making the most of your time in Tallahassee, we urge attendees to carefully review our “Know B4 UGo” information and the materials in the “Preparation Activities and Resources” file on FSBA Day in the Legislature page. We also encourage those who cannot join us in Tallahassee this week to review these materials to assist you in your legislative advocacy efforts in your district.
Before diving into the fifth week of the Legislative Session, please be sure to watch our FSBA Weekly Video Update featuring FSBA Executive Director Andrea Messina providing a recap of the main events during the fourth week of the Session. This week marks the mid-point of the Session. At this point, we will begin to see fewer committee/subcommittee meetings and more time will be spent in floor sessions of each chamber. Of particular interest, this week each chamber will consider their respective Appropriations bills and related Implementing and Conforming bills on their chamber floor. We have updated our Side-by-Side Comparison of the education related portions of House and Senate appropriations bills education budget proposals to reflect amendments made in committees last week. Meanwhile, today’s agenda includes consideration of several bills of interest including bills relating to school choice, funding, facilities, curriculum, and mental health. Today’s schedule is posted below and will be updated to show the outcome on these bills after each meeting concludes.
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Please note that all of the meetings listed below may be viewed in real time via live webcast on the Florida Channel or may be viewed later in the Florida Channel Video Library. Also note that clicking on the Committee/Subcommittee names linked below provides access to membership, meeting packets, and other committee information; clicking on the bill numbers linked below provides access the bill summary, analysis, related bills, and other information.
In the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee:
HB 259 – Comprehensive Health Education by Williams – PASSED
The bill revises the required comprehensive health education curriculum for K-12 public schools to include instruction on the dangers and signs of human trafficking and techniques to recognize and respond to child abuse. With parental consent, a student may opt out of portions of comprehensive health education.
HB 889 – Educational Facilities by Buchanan – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
The bill requires the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR), in conjunction with local school districts, to review and revise the Review of Florida’s Cost per Student Station report issued in January 2017. The updated report by the EDR shall be provided to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by October 1, 2019.
HB 1061 – Funds for the Operation of Schools by Overdorf – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A CS
The bill provides for school districts to receive additional funding through the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) for each student who receives an Advanced Placement Capstone Diploma in addition to a standard high school diploma.
HB 1127 – Educational Employees/Disqualification by Duggan – PASSEDThe bill requires the FDOE to create and maintain an electronic employment disqualification list (DQ list) with the intent of preventing individuals subject to disciplinary action from working or serving in an education environment. The DQ list must be used by all public schools, including charter schools, and private schools that accept students who participate in a state scholarship program, to screen potential employees, contract employees, board members, or owners for past bad conduct that would disqualify them from being in an educational environment. The bill authorizes the Educational Practices Commission (EPC) and the Commissioner of Education (Commissioner) to place an individual – including public school employees, public school contracted personnel, charter schools, charter school governing boards, and private schools that accept students who participate in a state scholarship program – on the DQ list. The DOE must place individuals on the DQ list when directed to do so by the EPC. The bill requires certain individuals to report and investigate credible allegations of misconduct.
HB 7095 – School Choice by PKI – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A CS
- Allows Schools of Hope to open in “Florida Opportunity Zones”;
- Allows Schools of Hope funds to be used for capital outlay and initial leasing and related costs and to compensate executive and regional directors until a school reaches full enrollment;
- Revises the definition of “persistently low-performing schools” to include schools that have a grade below a “C” for three out of five years;
- Allows additional facilities to house a charter school;
- Codifies the Center for Community Schools and its community schools model and encourages participating schools to become self-sustaining;
- Expands the traditional public school Schools of Hope grant program;
- Requires school districts to report on controlled open enrollment applications;
- Clarifies background screening requirements for private school personnel; and
- Allows a student to convert a Hope Scholarship to a transportation scholarship to a public school outside the school district and repeals the requirement for an independent evaluation of public schools with 10 or more students receiving a Hope Scholarship.
In the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee:
HB 189 – Postsecondary Education for Secondary Students by Zika – AMENDED; PASSED
- Renames the “collegiate high school program” as the “early college acceleration program” and expands the program from 1 to 2 years.
- Requires the program be made available to students in both grades 11 and 12 and specifies that the program must include an option for a participating student to graduate from high school with an associate degree.
- Prohibits district school boards from limiting the number of eligible students who may enroll in an early college program.
- Deletes the requirement for a separate early college program contract and requires each dual enrollment articulation agreement between a Florida College System institution and a school district to establish at least one early college program.
- Authorizes a district school board to establish an early college program with a state university or an eligible institution and authorizes a charter school to establish an early college program with a state college, state university, or other eligible postsecondary institution.
- Requires each district school board, by September 1, 2020, and annually thereafter, to post on its website information regarding earning college credit through the early college program and the associated cost savings.
- Requires each postsecondary institution, beginning September 1, 2020, and annually thereafter, to report information regarding each dual enrollment articulation agreement it has entered into during the previous year to the Commissioner of Education.
- Specifies that dual enrollment instructional materials must be provided to students in a home education program at no cost.
- Requires the FDOE, by November 30, 2020, and annually thereafter, to post on its website information regarding the status of early college programs.
HB 593 – Postsecondary Fee Waivers by Trumbull — AMENDED; PASSED WITH A CS
The bill authorizes FCS institutions that serve counties directly impacted by a hurricane, and who experience an enrollment decrease by more than 10% as a result, to waive out-of-state fees for a period of 3 years after the hurricane first made landfall. The out-of-state fee waiver can assist affected FCS institutions to recruit out-of-state students to the institution. FCS students who qualify for the waiver are eligible to receive the waiver for up to 110% of the total number of credit hours required for the degree or certificate program in which the student is enrolled. In order to remain eligible for the fee waiver, a student may not disenroll from the institution for more than one semester. Eligible out-of-state students attending a FCS institution that elects to implement the fee waiver, will not incur out-of-state fees. Each FCS institution shall report to the State Board of Education the number and value of all fee waivers granted annually. However, out-of-state students enrolled under this fee waiver shall not be included in the enrollment totals for these institutions by the Education Estimating Conference on Florida College System Enrollment.
In the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee::
SB 1418 – Admission to Mental Health Facilities by Powell — AMENDED; PASSED WITH A CS
As amended, the bill:
- Requires courts to appoint a public defender to represent minors being admitted to a receiving facility, a mental health treatment facility, or a hospital under the Baker Act within one court working day of an involuntary placement petition being filed.
- Requires the minor’s attorney have access to all records relevant for representation of the minor in a judicial hearing and requires the attorney to represent the patient’s interests throughout the course of the proceedings regardless of the course of payment to the attorney.
- Requires the administrators of Baker Act receiving facilities to file a petition for a circuit court hearing within 24 hours of a minor patient applying for voluntary admission to the facility and mandates a court hearing within 5 days of receiving the completed application to determine whether the patient has voluntarily consented to be admitted to the facility.
- Requires service providers to disclose information from a clinical record to the extent necessary to warn any potential victim and to communicate the threat to a law enforcement agency if a patient or client has communicated to the service provider a specific threat to cause serious bodily injury or death to an identified or readily available person, and the service provider makes a judgment that the patient or client has the apparent intent and ability to imminently or immediately carry out such threat.
- Provides that disclosure of confidential communications by a service provider when communicating a threat may not be the basis of any legal action or criminal or civil liability against such person
- Requires the FDOE to develop a list of approved youth suicide awareness and prevention training materials and suicide screening instruments that may be used for training in youth suicide awareness, suicide prevention, and suicide screening for instructional personnel in elementary school, middle school, and high schools.
- Requires FDOE to keep an updated record of all Suicide Prevention Certified Schools and post the list of these schools on the department’s website.
- Requires each school to post on its own website whether it is a Suicide Prevention Certified School, and each school district to post on its district website a list of the Suicide Prevention Certified Schools in that district.