After a day of anticipation, the PreK-12 Education Budget Conference Committee finally convened this evening at 6:15 pm. In an unexpected move, in the Senate Offer #1 on the budget, the Senate accepted the House position on the FEFP, thus closing any further negotiations on the FEFP. This agreement includes a rollback of the Required Local Effort millage rate to 4.322 mills (down from 4.638 mills) and a reduction on the Base Student Allocation of more than $27. As a result, total FEFP funding is set at $20,428,201,731 (an increase over the current year of $241,431,317 or 1.20%) and total funds per FTE of $7,220.72 (an increase of $24.49 or 0.34%). An FEFP Summary is included in the Senate Offer linked above (see page 16) that you can review and pass on to your finance officers and others to determine the impact this will have on your district. The Senate Offer also covers some PreK and non-FEFP offers. In addition, the House has issued House Offer #1 on differences in the implementing bill and budget proviso language but there was no discussion of this offer and there will be no response or further negotiations tonight.
There are no regular legislative committee meetings or floor sessions scheduled during the weekend, but Conference Committees are likely to be meeting. We will send a Budget Alert if and when any education related Conference Committee meetings are noticed and provide a recap on any decisions that are made at these meetings. Also, on Sunday, we will publish an issue of Session Spotlight containing the agenda for Monday, May 1. Meanwhile, below is a link to our report on today’s bill action.
[toggle title=”Today’s Happenings – April 28, 2017“]
In the Senate Rules Committee meeting:
SB 856 – Education/Contracts for Instructional Personnel by Broxson — FAILED
The bill clarifies that a district school board must issue contracts on an annual basis to instructional personnel hired on or after July 1, 2011, by specifying that the district school board may not:
- Award an annual contract based on a contingency or condition that is not expressed in s. 1012.335, F.S.; or
- Alter or limit its authority to award or not award an annual contract as provided in s. 1012.335, F.S.
In addition, the bill specifies that the provisions enumerated above only apply to collective bargaining agreements entered into or renewed by a district school board on or after this legislation is enacted. Accordingly, instructional personnel hired after the effective date of this bill may not be awarded an annual contract based on a contingency or condition that is not currently authorized in law. In addition, the provisions of this bill apply to all school districts except those operating under a home rule charter as provided in s. 125.011(1), F.S. This exempts Miami-Dade County. [NOTE: The bill failed on a 6-6 tie vote. Under Senate Rules, this means that the bill cannot move forward or receive further consideration unless approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those Senators present while sitting. This would also apply to consideration of the House companion bill – HB 373 – which is similar to SB 856.]
In the Senate Session:
Bills on 3rd Reading
SB 914 – Public Meetings by Baxley – READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE SENATE
The bill creates a new statutory provisions to codify judicial interpretation and application of the terms: de facto meeting, discussion, meeting, official act, and public business. The bill specifies that members of a board may participate in fact-finding exercises or excursion to research public business, and may participate in meetings with a member of the Legislature if:
- The board provides reasonable notice;
- A vote, official act, or an agreement regarding a future action does not occur;
- There is no discussion of public business that occurs; and
- There are appropriate records, minutes, audio recordings, or video recordings made and retained as a public record.
In addition, the bill provides that, if there is a gathering of two or more board members where no official acts are taken and no public business is discussed, then no public notice or access is required. [NOTE: The House companion bill – HB 919 – is identical but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
HB 599 – Public Works Projects by Williamson – READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE SENATE; PASSED THE LEGISLATURE
The bill prohibits the state and its political subdivisions that contract for public works projects from imposing restrictive conditions on certain contractors, subcontractors, or material suppliers or carriers, except as otherwise required by federal or state law. Specifically, the state or political subdivision that contracts for a public works project may not require that a contractor, subcontractor, or material supplier or carrier engaged in the project:
- Pay employees a predetermined amount of wages or prescribe any wage rate;
- Provide employees a specified type, amount, or rate of employee benefits;
- Control, limit, or expand staffing; or
- Recruit, train, or hire employees from a designated, restricted, or single source.
The bill specifies that public works projects include only those projects for which 50% or more of the cost will be paid from state-appropriated funds. In addition, the bill prohibits the state or a political subdivision from restricting a qualified contractor, subcontractor, or material supplier or carrier from submitting a bid on any public works project or being awarded any contract, subcontract, material order, or carrying order. However, the prohibition does not apply to discriminatory vendors or those that have committed a public entity crime. [NOTE: This is the House companion bill that was substituted for SB 534 on 2nd Reading on Thursday.]
Bills on 2nd Reading
SB 1416 – Enhanced Safety for School Crossings by Young – READ 2ND TIME; SUBSTITUTED FOR HB 493; SB 1416 LAID ON THE TABLE
HB 493 — Enhanced Safety for School Crossings by Toledo – SUBSTITUTED FOR SB 1416; READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 5/1/17
The bill requires the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to evaluate the viability and cost of a uniform system of pavement markings and signage for use on all state and local arterial or collector roads within a one-mile radius of all public and private schools for the purpose of designating safe school crossing locations.
SB 1622 – School Bus Safety by Passidomo – READ 2ND TIME; SUBSTITUTED FOR HB 1239; SB 1622 LAID ON THE TABLE
HB 1239 – School Bus Safety by Eagle – SUBSTITUTED FOR SB 1622; READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 5/1/17
The bill creates the “Cameron Mayhew Act” to require a driver who illegally passes a stopped school bus resulting in death or serious bodily injury of another person to:
- Serve 120 community service hours in a trauma center or hospital.
- Participate in a victim’s impact panel or attend a Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) approved driver improvement course that relates to the rights of vulnerable road users relative to vehicles on the roadway.
The bill also imposes a $1,500 fine, a 1-year driver license suspension, and two additional points, for a total of 6 points added to a person’s driver license. [NOTE: The House companion bill – HB 1239 – passed the House earlier today (see below) making it available for this substitution.]
In the House Session:
Bills on 3rd Reading
HB 1239 – School Bus Safety by Eagle – READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE HOUSE
The bill creates the Cameron Mayhew Act, providing that in addition to any other civil, criminal, or administrative penalty, a person who fails to stop for a school bus causing or resulting in the serious bodily injury or death of another person is required to:
- Serve 120 hours of community service in a trauma center or hospital.
- Participate in a victim’s impact panel session in a judicial circuit or attend a driver improvement course approved by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles relating to the rights of vulnerable road users relative to vehicles on the roadway.
The bill provides for a fine of $1,500 and a one-year driver license suspension for failing to stop for a school bus resulting in the serious bodily injury or death of another. [NOTE: This bill was substituted for the Senate companion bill – SB 1622 — in the Senate later today and has been placed on 3rd Reading in the Senate (see above).]
HB 549 – Education / Assessments by Fine – READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE HOUSE
The bill adds to and revises several provisions relating to assessments. The bill:
- Provides that the grade 3 statewide, standardized ELA assessment and the writing portion of the statewide, standardized ELA assessments for grades 4-10 must be administered no earlier than April 1 each year within a 2-week assessment window;
- Provides that any statewide, standardized assessment delivered in a paper-based format must be administered no earlier than May 1 each year within a 2-week assessment window and may be administered no earlier than 4 weeks before the last day of school for the district;
- Provides that any other statewide, standardized assessment that is delivered in a computer-based format must be administered within a 4-week assessment window that opens no earlier than May 1 each year and requires school districts to administer such assessments no earlier than 4 weeks before the last day of school for the district;
- Requires that assessment results for the grade 3 statewide, standardized ELA assessment be made available no later than May 31 and revises the date by which all other statewide assessment results must be made available no later than June 30 (rather than the week of June 8);
- Requires the commissioner to post the uniform assessment calendar to the DOE website in January (rather than August) of each year;
- Requires that any new contract for the statewide, standardized ELA and mathematics assessments entered into after July 1, 2017 provides for these assessment to be administered quarterly for students who have been identified through competency-based education as having mastered the content and who are prepared to take the applicable assessment in accordance with the Competency-Based Education Pilot Program;
- Requires that all statewide, standardized assessments, including EOC assessments, must be administered in a computer-based format EXCEPT that, beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, the statewide, standardized ELA and mathematics assessments for grades 3 through 6 must be administered in a paper-based format only;
- Requires that the results of the statewide, standardized ELA and mathematics assessments, including retakes, be reported in an “easy-to read and understandable” format and delivered in time to provide useful, actionable information to students, parents, and to each student’s current teacher and the student’s teacher of record for the subsequent school year;
- Requires each school district to provide the report within 1 week after receiving the results from the DOE and specifies that the report must include, at a minimum:
- a clear explanation of the student’s performance on the applicable assessments;
- information identifying the student’s areas of strength and areas in need of improvement;
- specific actions that may be taken, and the available resources that may be used, by the student’s parent to assist the student based on his or her areas of strength and areas in need of improvement;
- longitudinal information, if available, on the student’s progress in each subject area based on previous statewide, standardized assessment data;
- comparative information showing the student’s score compared to other students in the school district, in the state or, if available, in other states; and
- predictive information, if available, showing the linkage between the scores attained by the student on the statewide, standardized assessments and the scores he or she may potentially attain on nationally recognized college entrance examinations;
- Requires the commissioner to contract for an independent study to determine whether the SAT and ACT may be administered in lieu of the grade 10 statewide, standardized ELA assessment and the Algebra I EOC assessment consistent with the provisions of ESSA and requires the commissioner to submit a report with the results of the review and any recommendations to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the State Board of Education by January 1, 2018;
In addition, the bill requires the commissioner, beginning with the 2019-2020 school year and every 3 years thereafter, to publish each statewide, standardized assessment and statewide EOC assessment on the DOE’s website, excluding retake and alternate assessments, administered in the most recent school year. The commissioner is to determine the schedule for publishing assessments during the 3-year period, but the initial publication must occur no later than June 30, 2020, and must include the grade 3 ELA and mathematics assessments, the grade 10 ELA assessment, and the Algebra I EOC assessment. DOE must publish materials on its website to help the public interpret the published assessment information. Because test items cannot be repeated for purposes of assessment validity, the DOE would be required to procure additional test items to replace the items it has authority to publish. This would require renegotiation of current assessment contracts for the development of test items owned by the DOE. Thereafter, the DOE would be required to purchase sufficient test items to replace assessments that are published in accordance with the bill.
The bill also requires a third party, independent of the assessment developer, to analyze student learning growth data calculated using the student learning growth formula and provide access to a data visualization tool that enables teachers to understand and evaluate the data and school administrators to improve instruction, evaluate programs, allocate resources, plan professional development, and communicate with stakeholders.
The bill provides an appropriation to cover the costs related to assessments, publication of assessments, and related provisions. [NOTE: There is no direct Senate companion bill, but there are several House and Senate bills that are comparable to some aspects of this bill, including SB 906, SB 926, SB 964, HB 773, and HB 1249.]
HB 371 — Assistive Technology Devices by Ausley – READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE HOUSE
The bill revises provisions related to the use of an assistive technology device by students with disabilities by:
- Clarifying that access to and use of the assistive technology device is essential for a student moving from school to home and community;
- Specifying an individual work plan as one of the plans that may serve as the basis for issuing an assistive technology device to a student; and
- Requiring the Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice, within the Florida Department of Education, to enter into interagency agreements with specified agencies, as appropriate, for the transaction of assistive technology devices.
[NOTE: The Senate companion – SB 772 – is similar and has passed two of three committees of reference.]
HB 525 – High School Graduation Requirements by Silvers – READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE HOUSE
The bill allows a student to use credit earned upon completion of a registered apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship program registered with the Department of Education to satisfy certain high school credit requirements for graduation with a standard diploma. Specifically, the bill:
- Authorizes the use of credit earned upon completion of a registered apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship program to satisfy up to one credit in fine or performing arts, speech and debate, or practical arts; or electives.
- Requires the State Board of Education to approve and identify in the Course Code Directory the registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs from which a student may use earned credit to satisfy such course credit requirements.
[NOTE: The Senate companion bill – SB 978 – is similar and has passed one of three committees of reference.]
Bills on 2nd Reading
HB 773 – K-12 Student Assessments by M. Diaz – READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 5/2/17
The bill revises and adds to existing provisions relating to assessments and incorporates all or part of several other bills. The bill:
- Deletes provisions requiring the Algebra II EOC assessment to be administered and that certain students take the assessment;
- Requires that all statewide, standardized assessments, including statewide EOC assessments, be delivered in a computer-based format; however, beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, the statewide, standardized ELA and mathematics assessments for grades 3 through 6 must be administered in a nonelectronic format;
- Moves the date by which the commissioner must publish the uniform assessment calendar on the DOE’s website from August to January of each year;
- Requires, beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, that the grade 3 statewide, standardized ELA assessment, the writing portion of the ELA assessments, and paper-based assessments be administered during a 2-week assessment window that starts no earlier than April 1 each year;
- Requires that computer-based statewide, standardized assessments be administered during a 4-week assessment window that starts no earlier than May 1 each year;
- Requires each school district to administer those assessments no earlier than 4 weeks before the last day of school for the district;
- Requires results from the grade 3 statewide, standardized ELA assessment to be made available no later than May 31 and the results from all other statewide assessments to be made available no later than June 30;
- Requires the results of statewide, standardized ELA and mathematics assessments, including assessment retakes, to be reported to students, parents, and each student’s teacher of record for the subsequent year in an easy-to-read and understandable format and in time to provide useful, actionable information and specifies information that must be included;
- Requires that the student learning growth formula be developed by a third party independent of the statewide, standardized assessment administrator and requires the independent third party to verify the suitability statewide assessment results for student learning growth measures;
- Requires the commissioner to provides schools access to individual student learning growth data in a user-friendly format that enables teachers and school administrators to understand, evaluate, and use the data for specified purposes;
- Requires the commissioner to contract for an independent study to determine whether the SAT and ACT may be administered in lieu of the grade 10 statewide, standardized ELA assessment and the Algebra I EOC assessment consistent with federal provisions for locally-selected assessments under the Every Student Succeeds Act;
- Requires the commissioner, beginning with the 2019-2020 school year and every 3 years thereafter, to publish on the DOE’s website each statewide, standardized assessment and statewide EOC assessment, as well as materials to help the public interpret the published assessment information. The commissioner may determine the schedule for publishing assessments during the 3-year period; however, the initial publication must include the grade 3 ELA and mathematics assessments, the grade 10 ELA assessment, and the Algebra I EOC assessment.
- Provides for appropriations related to the assessment study, reporting of student assessment results, the transition of certain statewide, standardized assessments to a paper-based format, and the provisions for student learning growth.
- Provides that a student may satisfy the online course requirement for a standard high school diploma by completing a blended learning course;
- Removes the prior year in public school requirement and provides that all K-12 students, including home education and private school students, are eligible for both full-time and part-time virtual instruction options.
- Removes passage of an online content assessment, by which the student demonstrates skills and competency in locating information and applying technology for instructional purposes, as an option to fulfill the online course requirement.
- Provides that a school board member is permitted to visit district operated schools without an appointment;
- Provides that, except for a school district or a consortium of school districts that implements an instructional materials program, each district school board shall use the annual instructional materials allocation only for the purchase of instructional materials that align with state standards and are included on the state-adopted list, except up to 50% of the annual allocation may be used for:
- The purchase of library and reference books and non-print materials;
- The purchase of other materials having intellectual content which assist in the instruction of a subject or course;
- The repair and renovation of textbooks and library books and replacements for items which were part of previously purchased instructional materials;
- Revises educator certification, professional development, and teacher preparation program requirements as follows:
- Provides that a temporary certificate holder who completes a DOE approved program and earns a highly effective rating will qualify for a renewable professional certificate without having to complete additional classwork or pass the Professional Education Test.
- Allows charter schools and charter management organizations to offer a professional development certification and educator competence program and requires the mentorship and induction component of the program to, at a minimum, provide weekly opportunities for mentoring and induction activities. The mentorship and induction activities must be provided for a teacher’s first year in the program and may be provided until the teacher attains his or her professional certificate.
- Requires the DOE to adopt standards for approving a professional development certification and educator competence program, including the mentorship and induction component.
- Allows mentoring activities, including serving as a mentor, to count towards a teacher’s inservice requirements for certification renewal.
- Requires professional development activities to provide training to mentors. The training must include components on teacher development, peer coaching, time management, and other related topics as determined by the DOE.
- Requires model professional development programs disseminated by the DOE to include effective mentorship activities to new teachers and training to mentors.
- Streamlines the temporary certificate application process and revises provisions related to the expiration of a temporary certificate.
- Revises core curricula requirements for certain teacher preparation programs to include certain reading instruction and interventions;
- Requires certain educator preparation institutes to provide evidence of specified reading instruction as a condition of program approval and continued approval; amending s. 1012.585, F.S.; 382 Revises requirements for renewal of professional teaching certificates;
- Authorizes the DOE to recommend consolidation of endorsement areas and requirements for endorsements for teacher certificates;
- Revises duties and requirements for implementation of the School Community Professional Development Act and revises activities to include specified training relating to a professional development certification and education competency program;
- Revises requirements for school district professional development systems.
- Requires DOE to issue a competitive solicitation for a contract to conduct a comprehensive study of states with high-performing students in grades 6 through 8 in reading and mathematics, based on the states’ performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and report recommendations to improve middle school performance December 2017;
- Deletes the requirement for middle grade students to complete the career and education planning course;
- Removes the annual teacher bonus limits for IB, AICE, AP and CAPE courses and requires the district to allocate at least 80% of the AICE exam bonus funds to the school program that generates the funds;
- Provides that a charter school may be exempt from the controlled open enrollment requirements if the school is open to any student covered in an interdistrict agreement and any student residing in the school district in which the charter school is located;
- Provides that, if the sponsor fails to act on the application of a High Performing Charter School within 90 (rather than 60) days after receipt, the application is deemed approved;
- Provides that a high-performing charter school may establish more than one charter school within the state in any year if it operates in the area of a persistently low-performing school and serves students from that school;
- Streamlines the process for the application and replication of high-performing charter schools;
- Authorizes the use of district capital outlay millage revenue for payout of sick leave and annual leave accrued as of June 30, 2017 by individuals who are no longer employed by a school district that transfers to a charter school operator all day-to-day classroom instruction responsibility for all full-time equivalent students; this provisions expires July 1, 2018;
- Provides that strategies to assist schools identified for differentiated accountability must address, among other things, alignment across grade levels to improve background 1654 knowledge in social studies, science, and the arts.
[NOTE: The Senate companion bill – SB 926 – is comparable, has passed all committees of reference, and is on the Senate Calendar on 2nd Reading. In addition, another House bill – HB 549 – contains some comparable provisions and has passed the House (see above).]
HB 265 – Computer Coding Instruction by Porter– READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 5/2/17
The bill amends the law to more closely align state policy to the Southern Regional Education Board’s recommendations concerning computer science education. The bill promotes student access to education in computer science and related fields by requiring the Articulation Coordinating Committee to develop recommendations that identify:
- High school courses in computer science, including computer coding and computer programming, which may be used to satisfy state university admissions requirements for math and science.
- Common academic and technical skills needed for students to help meet projected labor market demands in computer science, information technology, and related fields in Florida.
- How middle and high school students, including underrepresented and nontraditional students, can be encouraged to pursue further studies and careers in computer science, information technology, and related fields.
- Secondary course sequences which prepare students to succeed in postsecondary educational programs in computer science, information technology, and related fields.
- Gaps in current policy, curricula, programs, and practices that inhibit students from pursuing postsecondary education and careers in computer science and related fields.
- Appropriate educator qualifications and computer science pedagogy to maintain technologically current instructional knowledge and practices in teacher preparation programs.
- Common definitions for terms related to computer science, including terms such as computer coding and computer programming, for consistent use across the Florida K-20 education system.
The committee must report its recommendations to the BOG and the Legislature by December 31, 2018. In addition, the bill requires the Commissioner to identify high school-level courses that incorporate the computer science standards in the Course Code Directory by June 30, 2018 and requires DOE to provide annual reports to the BOG and the Legislature that identify:
- The courses identified in the Course Code Directory pursuant by the commissioner in accordance with the bill;
- The number of students, by district, including the FLVS, who are enrolled in a course so identified; and
- The number of individuals who hold a valid educator certificate in computer science or a related field.
The bill also requires the state board to consult with the BOG and school districts to develop strategies for:
- Recruiting qualified teachers to provide computer science instruction;
- Updating computer science educator certification requirements;
- Providing appropriate professional development to maintain technologically current instructional knowledge and practices in the school districts; and
- Identifying and streamlining traditional and alternative pathways toward computer science educator certification.
In addition, the bill provides that, if a student enrolls in an identified course that satisfies any FCS or SUS admission requirements for mathematics, or science, the school district must notify the student that he or she should contact any out-of-state or private postsecondary institution to which the student is applying and inquire whether the course credit satisfies any of the institution’s admissions requirements. [NOTE: The Senate companion bill – SB 104 – is comparable and has passed one of two committees of reference. Also note that SB 104 allows students to take computer coding courses of sufficient rigor such that two credits in those courses and the earning of a related industry certification satisfies two credits in sequential foreign language instruction.]
HB 843 — Meetings Between Two Members of Board or Commission by Donalds – READ 2ND TIME; AMENDED; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 5/2/17
The bill authorizes two members of any board or commission, including persons elected or appointed to such board or commission who have not yet taken office, of any state agency or authority or any agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision with a total membership of at least five members to meet in private and discuss public business without providing notice of such meeting or recording the meeting. Such meetings are exempt from open meetings requirements if:
- The members do not adopt a resolution or rule to take any other formal action, or agree to do so at a future meeting, at such meeting. A resolution or rule adopted, or any other formal action taken, in violation of this prohibition is void.
- The members do not discuss an appropriation, a contract, or any other public business that involves the direct expenditure of public funds to a private vendor.
- The meeting is not intended to frustrate or circumvent the purpose of the open meetings laws.
The bill provides for repeal of the exemption on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature. [NOTE: The Senate companion bill – SB 1004 – is similar but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]