This is the 6th week of the Legislative Session. As we move into the final weeks of the Session, the pace will pick up in the effort to move bills through the committee process and to continue the budget process. As a status report on the budget, both chambers have passed their respective budget bills and set the groundwork for moving into the next phase of the budget process: Setting up Conference Committees for each budget area that will work to resolve the differences between the two versions of the budget. To assist you in following the progress on the budget, we have updated our CHART comparing the Senate and House major PreK-12 education allocations and have posted this chart, FEFP Summaries, and other information in the “2018 Education Budget Materials” file on our 2018 Legislative Session page. To assist you in keeping track of the major education related legislation that is currently moving, we have posted the Legislative Briefing Bill Packet in the “2018 Education Legislation” file on our 2018 Legislative Session page.
The schedule for Monday is fairly light with only a few bills of interest under consideration including bills relating to transportation and instructional materials. Please click on the link below for more information on these bills.
The Senate Education Committee will meet, 3:30 – 5:30 pm, to consider the following items:
SB 188 – Public School Transportation by Steube
The bill modifies the duties of the district school superintendents and district school boards regarding transportation of students, and the walking conditions that are considered as hazardous to students. Specifically, the bill:
- Modifies the process for identifying hazardous walking conditions by requiring district school superintendents to request the review of a perceived hazardous walking condition if he or she receives a written request from a parent of a student in the school district.
- Revises the district school boards’ responsibilities with regards to providing student transportation services to require such services for public school students in kindergarten through grade 12 whose homes are more than 1.5 miles from the nearest appropriate school.
- Requires district school boards to provide transportation for all public school students if they are subjected to hazardous walking conditions while en route to or from school.
- Reduces the speed limit along uncurbed roads and at uncontrolled crossing sites from 50 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour in order to be considered a hazardous walking condition.
- Modifies the hazardous walking condition criteria with respect to uncontrolled crossing sites to include a road that has 4 lanes or more, excluding turn lanes, regardless of the speed limit; instead of 6 lanes or more as specified in law.
SB 1644 – Instructional Materials by Lee
The bill modifies the district school board and state-level instructional materials review and adoption processes. Specifically, the bill:
- Requires district school board rules regarding the instructional materials review process to establish a process by which parents and county residents may recommend instructional materials for consideration by district instructional materials reviewers.
- Requires members of the public to be provided access to, and be given an opportunity to submit comments on, instructional materials recommended for adoption by state instructional materials reviewers.
- Provides an exemption from the public review procedures for instructional materials that are found by the Commissioner of Education (commissioner) to meet specified requirements, but permits a district school board member to initiate the public review procedures before instructional materials are adopted by the commissioner, if the district school board member has evidence that the instructional materials do not meet the required criteria.
The Senate Commerce & Tourism Committee will meet, 3:30 – 5:30 pm, to consider the following item and others:
SB 858 – Time Observances by Steube
The bill creates the Sunshine Protection Act (the Act). The Act requires the Legislature to submit a request to the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation to redesignate the portions of Florida that currently lie within the Central Time Zone to the Eastern Time Zone, resulting in all of Florida laying in the same time zone. The Act further provides that the Legislature intends to adopt daylight saving time as the year-round standard time if the United States Congress amends federal law relating to Daylight Saving Time (DST).