With only four days remaining in the 2019 Legislative Session, you may wish to take a few minutes to view our FSBA Weekly Video Update featuring FSBA Executive Director Andrea Messina providing a recap of the main events during the eighth week of the Session. As we’ve mentioned, the pace will be very fast for these final days as legislators work to maneuver the last of their “must pass” bills into position for final approval by both chambers. Several high profile bills, most of which have little direct impact on education, remain to be resolved. These include bills relating to sanctuary cities, implementation of Amendment 4 relating to voting rights for some former felons, the gambling compact with the Seminole tribe, and a tax relief package. The major education bills that are still in play are SB 7070 (which is scheduled for 3rd Reading in the House today — our unofficial summary is available HERE), SB 7030 relating to school safety (on 2nd Reading in the House today), and bills relating to career education, early learning, charter schools, and local government accountability. In addition, there are several bills in play that contain some troubling provisions about impact fees and local referenda. In the coming days, some bills will be shuttled back and forth between the chambers as amendments are approved and sent back in Messages to the other chamber for consideration. Also, we are awaiting the Conference Committee Report on the budget and on the implementing bill, which is due to be released sometime today — we will provide a quick summary on the education portions of the budget as soon as those documents are available. As always, we will continue to keep you informed via this Session Spotlight blog and twitter (@FLSchoolBoards).
The Budget Conference Committee met tonight for the final time and completed the alignment of the House and Senate budgets. With regard to education funding, there is still no full FEFP funding summary with district-by-district information, but a one-page statewide summary was provided. In addition, outstanding differences in budget proviso language, in capital outlay, and in the budget implementing bill were resolved. We have begun work on our detailed budget analysis, but here are a few highlights:
For the FEFP:
- The Base Student Allocation has been increased by $75.07 for a total of $4,279.49.
- Total FEFP funds per student has been increased by $242.60 for a total of $7,672.02.
- The Safe Schools Allocation has been increased by about $18 million for a total of $180,000,000.
- The Mental Health Assistance allocation has been increased by about $5.7 million for a total of $75,000,000.
- The Funding Compression Allocation has been retained at $54,190,616, a decrease of $2.6 million
- The Best & Brightest Teachers and Principals Allocation has been set at $284,500,000, in increase from the former non-FEFP allocation of about $50,000,000.
- A new Turnaround Supplemental Services Allocation has been set at $45,473.810.
- With regard to the District Cost Differential, the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) is directed to develop methodology for calculating each school district’s wage level index, compare that to the current Price Level Index, and provide a transition plan that minimizes negative impacts on school districts. EDR must present a plan to the legislature by October 2019. NO CHANGES will be made unless approved by the Legislature.
For Capital Outlay:
- No state PECO funds are provided to public schools but more than $158,000,000 is provided for charter schools – although the elimination of any state PECO funding for public schools is disappointing, the allocation to charter schools is sufficient to avoid districts being required to share local 1.5 capital outlay funds with charter schools.
- Special Facilities Construction Account funding is provided to Liberty, Jackson, and Gilchrist Counties, but Gilchrist will receive funds for only the 2nd of 3 years.
We will provide more details on the education budget as they become available.
Bills of interest on today’s schedule include the omnibus SB 7070 (mentioned above), SB 7030 relating to Schools Safety, early learning, and personnel. As of this writing (9:20 pm), the House is still in Session. Earlier today, the House passed SB 7070 and it is now on its way to the Governor’s office for approval or veto. The House just completed consideration of SB 7030. Although dozens of amendments were offered, none were approved. The bill has been placed on 3rd Reading for 5/1/19. Please see below for this, and other bills on today’s schedule. We will add notes on the outcome of the remaining bills as soon as possible.
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 bill numbers linked below provides access the bill summary, analysis, related bills, and other information.
In the Senate Session:
Bills on Special Order (2nd Reading):
SB 172 – Florida Endowment for Vocational Rehabilitation by Bean – READ 2ND TIME; AMENDED; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 5/1/19
The bill saves from repeal the Florida Endowment for Vocational Rehabilitation (The Able Trust), which is a direct-support organization for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation in the Department of Education.
SB 1456 – Office of Early Learning by Perry – READ 2ND TIME; SUBSTITUTED FOR HB 1027; SB 1456 LAID ON THE TABLE
HB 1027 – Office of Early Learning by Aloupis – SUBSTITUTED FOR SB 1456; READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 5/1/19
- Codifies early learning professional development standards and career pathways in law.
- Requires the Office of Early Learning to develop early learning professional development training and course standards for school readiness program providers and identify both formal and informal early learning career pathways with stackable credentials and certifications, which allow early childhood teachers to access specialized professional development.
- Requires the established credentials and certifications to align with the training for K-12 teachers, reading coaches, and school principals to the greatest extent possible.
Bills on 3rd Reading:
HB 547 – Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program by Clemons – READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE SENATE; PASSED THE LEGISLATURE
- Authorizes a state university to transfer Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program related Dormitory Residence Plan funds to a qualified nonprofit organization.
- Defines a qualified nonprofit organization as an organization under s. 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, which provides one or more dormitories, or residency opportunities to students enrolled full-time in a state university or FCS institution, primarily supports students that lack financial resources, and has been approved by the board for inclusion in the plan. Requires that the amount transferred may not exceed the average fees charged for state university or FCS institution dormitory fees.
- Revises the membership of the board of directors for Florida Prepaid College Board’s direct-support organization.
HB 441 – 911 Services by DuBose — READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE SENATE; PASSED THE LEGISLATURE
- Requires the Technology Program (Office) within the Department of Management Services to develop a plan by February 1, 2020, to upgrade 911 public safety answering points (PSAPs) within the state to allow the transfer of an emergency call from one local, multijurisdictional, or regional E911 system to another local, multijurisdictional, or regional E911 system in the state.
- Specifies that this transfer capability should include voice, text message, image, video, caller identification information, location information, and additional standards-based 911 call information.
- Requires the development and implementation of communications systems that allow direct radio communication between each PSAP and first responders outside the PSAP’s normal service area.
- Requires each county to develop a plan to implement countywide text-to-911 service and, by January 1, 2022, to enact a system that allows for text-to-911 service.
HB 593 – Postsecondary Fee Waivers by Trumbull – READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE SENATE; PASSED THE LEGISLATURE
The bill authorizes Florida College System (FCS) institutions that serve counties directly impacted by a hurricane, and who experience an enrollment decrease by more than 10 percent as a result, to waive out-of-state fees for a period of 3 years, beginning 180 days after the date the hurricane first impacted counties served by the institution. FCS students who qualify for the waiver are eligible to receive the waiver for up to 110 percent 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 dis-enroll from the institution for more than one semester. Each FCS institution is required to report to the State Board of Education the number and value of all fee waivers granted annually. Out-of-state students enrolled at a FCS institution utilizing the fee waiver, may not be included in the enrollment totals for these institutions by the Education Estimating Conference on FCS Enrollment.
In the House Session:
Bills on Special Order (2nd Reading):
SB 7030 – School Safety & Security by Education – READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 5/1/19
[NOTE: We are working on a detailed summary of this bill. In the meantime, please see the summary of this bill that was developed by the Florida Association of School Superintendents available HERE.]
SB 620 – Military-Friendly Initiatives by Broxson – READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 5/1/19
The bill provides a number of benefits to servicemembers and their families and additional protections and benefits for military organizations, land interests and uses. Of particular interest to school districts, the bill requires school districts to accept a permanent change of station order as proof of residency for all public school programs including special academic programs.
SB 1418 – Mental Health by Powell – READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 5/1/19
- 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.
- Revises deadlines for submission of documentation regarding involuntary examinations.
- 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.
SB 838 – Public Records/Mental Health Treatment by Powell – READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 5/1/19
The bill creates a new public records exemption to provide that all petitions for voluntary and involuntary admission for mental health treatment, court orders, and related records filed with or by a court are confidential and exempt from public records requirements. The pleadings and other documents may be disclosed by the clerk of court, upon request, to certain persons or agencies, such as the petitioner, the respondent and their legal representatives, as well as the Department of Corrections and Department of Children and Families. The bill provides that records made confidential and exempt from public disclosure can be submitted by the clerk of the court to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as required by law.
SB 186 – Public Records/Victim of Mass Violence by Lee – READ 2ND TIME; AMENDED; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 5/1/19
The bill expands an existing public records exemption to make confidential and exempt from public disclosure any photographs and video and audio recordings that depict or record the killing of a victim of mass violence. The bill provides that it is a third degree felony for any custodian of such photographs and recordings to willfully and knowingly violate the exemption requirements.
Bills on 3rd Reading:
SB 292 – Education/Graduation Ceremony by Lee – READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE HOUSE; PASSED THE LEGISLATURE
The bill provides that a district school board may not prohibit a student from lawfully wearing the dress uniform of any of the Armed Forces of the United States or of the state at his or her graduation ceremony.
SB 318 – Child Abuse, Abandonment, and Neglect by Montford — READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE HOUSE; PASSED THE LEGISLATURE
The bill expands the public records exemption that protects the name of a reporter of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to also include other identifying information. Such information would be confidential and exempt, and would only be released to specified persons, officials, and agencies specified in law.
SB 1080 – Hazing by Book — READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE HOUSE; PASSED THE LEGISLATURE
The bill amends statutory provisions relating to the crime of hazing occurring on the post-secondary level (Section 1006.63, F.S.), but may have implications on the PreK-12 level (Section 1006.135, F.S.) As amended, the bill:
- Amends and reorganizes the definition of hazing on the post-secondary level to include:
- Initiation, admission, or affiliation into or with any organization operating under the sanction of a postsecondary institution; and
- The perpetration or furtherance of a tradition or ritual.
- Creates a third degree felony hazing crime under circumstances where the victim sustains a permanent injury from the hazing.
- Expands the current protection of persons who are members of or applicants to a student organization from hazing to include a person who is a former member of the organization.
- Provides that persons who solicit others to commit the crime of hazing or who plan any act of hazing may be prosecuted as if they actively participated in the hazing event
- Provides that, if the hazing results in a permanent injury to the victim, the crime is a third degree felony.
- Provides that a person may not be prosecuted for the crime of hazing if he or she establishes all of the following:
- That he or she was present at an event where, as a result of hazing, a person appeared to be in need of immediate medical assistance.
- That he or she was the first person to call 911 or campus security to report the need for immediate medical assistance.
- That he or she provided his or her own name, the address where immediate medical assistance was needed, and a description of the medical issue to the 911 operator or campus security at the time of the call.
- That he or she remained at the scene with the person in need of immediate medical assistance until such medical assistance, law enforcement, or campus security arrived and that he or she cooperated with such personnel on the scene.
- Provides that a person is immune from prosecution if the person establishes that, before medical assistance, law enforcement, or campus security arrived on the scene of a hazing event, the person rendered aid to the hazing victim.
- Provides that provisions providing protections from prosecution for the crime of hazing may be cited as “Andrew’s Law”
SB 7070 – K-12 Education by Education – READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE HOUSE; PASSED THE LEGISLATURE
[NOTE: We are working on a more detailed summary of this bill. Meanwhile, our UNOFFICIAL summary of the bill is available HERE.]