Several bills of interest will be considered today including, among others, visitation of schools by legislators, the McKay Scholarship Program, and tax referenda. Please click on the link below to access our report on the outcome of the consideration of these bill and others that were considered today. Tomorrow, there are no legislative committee meetings of interest but a few Constitution Revision Commission Committees will be meeting. Most notably, as we alerted you at the beginning of the week, the CRC Education Committee will be considering several important education-related proposals to amend the Florida Constitution, including, among others, proposals relating to school board member salaries, charter school authorizers, and the prohibition against using public revenues in aid of religious entities. Several school board members will be testifying on one or more of these proposals. Please click on the link below for more information about these proposals and others coming up tomorrow.
[toggle title=”Today’s Happenings – January 18, 2018“]
In the Senate Rules Committee meeting:
SB 118 – Visitation of Schools by State Legislators by Hukill – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
The bill authorizes an individual member of the State Legislature to visit any district school, including any charter school, in his or her legislative district, on any day and at any time at his or her pleasure. The bill also clarifies that the district school superintendent’s designee or the school principal’s designee, in addition to the specified district employees in current law, may not limit the duration or scope of the visit or direct the visiting individual to leave the school premises. [NOTE: Today’s amendment added charter schools to those that a legislator may visit. The short summary above reflects the provisions of the bill as amended. This was the second of two committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill — HB 975 – is similar but has not been heard in either of two committees of reference.]
In the Senate Appropriations Committee meeting:
SB 564 – McKay Scholarship Program by Young – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A CS
The bill modifies the John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program to:
- Provide that, if a student is hospitalized or homebound and his or her parent seeks a reevaluation of an existing individual education plan (IEP), the parent may request an IEP meeting and evaluation from the school district to obtain or revise a matrix of services. The school district shall conduct the meeting and develop an IEP individual education plan and a revised matrix of services within 30 days after receipt of the parent’s request for a reevaluation, in accordance with State Board of Education rules.
- Provide that a school district may change a matrix of services only if the change is the result of an IEP reevaluation or is necessary to correct a technical, typographical, or calculation error.
[NOTE: Today’s amendment revises provisions for a parental request for a reevaluation of an existing IEP to address the needs of hospitalized or homebound students. The short summary above reflects the provisions of the bill as amended. This was the third of four committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill — HB 399 – is similar but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
In the House Education Committee meeting:
HB 75 – Postsecondary Fee Waivers by Ponder – PASSED; PLACED ON HOUSE CALENDAR ON 2ND READING
This bill authorizes a Florida College System (FCS) institution to waive any portion of the following fees for a US Armed Forces active duty member so long as they are using military tuition assistance provided by the US Department of Defense:
- Student activity and service fee;
- Financial aid fee;
- Technology fee;
- Capital improvement fee; and
- Any other fees authorized in s. 1009.23, F.S.
Additionally, each FCS institution must report to the State Board of Education the number and value of all fee waivers granted annually. [NOTE: The bill has now passed all House committees of reference and has been placed on the House Calendar on 2nd Reading for consideration by the full House. The Senate companion bill — SB 460 – is similar and has passed two of three committees of reference.]
HB 577 – High School Graduation Requirements by Silvers — PASSED; PLACED ON HOUSE CALENDAR ON 2ND READING
The bill allows a student to use credit earned upon completion of a DOE-registered apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship program to satisfy the credit requirements for fine or performing arts, speech and debate, or practical arts, or electives. The State Board of Education (SBE) is required to approve and identify in the Course Code Directory apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs from which a student may use earned credit to satisfy graduation requirements. [NOTE: The bill has now passed all House committees of reference and has been placed on the House Calendar on 2nd Reading for consideration by the full House. The Senate companion bill — SB 856 – is identical but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
In the House Government Accountability Committee meeting:
HB 317 – Local Tax Referenda by Ingoglia – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A CS
The bill requires any referendum to levy a discretionary sales surtax, including a school capital outlay surtax, to be held during a general election. [NOTE: Today’s amendment removed the option to hold a sales tax referendum during a primary election with a higher threshold for approval. The short summary above reflects the bill as amended. This was the third of three committees of reference for this bill. As amended, the bill now aligns with the most recent version of the Senate companion bill — SB 272 – which is similar and has passed two of four committees of reference.]
In the House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee meeting:
HB 105 – Resign-to-run Law by Santiago – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A CS
The bill requires state or local officers who qualify for federal public office to resign from the office they presently hold if the terms or any part thereof will run concurrently. The resignation is irrevocable and must be submitted at least 10 days before the first day of qualifying for the office sought. The resignation is effective on the date the officer takes office, if elected, or the date the officer’s successor is required to take office, whichever is earlier. The failure of an officer to offer his or her resignation constitutes an automatic resignation, effective immediately, from the office he or she presently holds. [NOTE: Today’s amendment provides that the provisions of the bill do not apply to an elected officer if the term of the office that he or she presently holds is scheduled to expire and be filled by election in the same primary and general election period as the federal office he or she is seeking. The short summary above reflects the provisions of the bill as amended. This was the second of two committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill — SB 186 – is similar, has passed all committees of reference, and has been placed on the Senate calendar on 2nd Reading for consideration by the full Senate.]
HB 6009 – Write-In Candidates by Geller — PASSED
The bill repeals current law providing a residency requirement for write-in candidates because this was unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court. . [NOTE: This was the second of two committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill — SB 582 – is similar but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
In the House Rules & Policy Committee meeting:
RPC5 – Date for Convening the 2020 Legislative Session by Rules & Policy – SUBMITTED AS A COMMITTEE BILL; FILED AS HB 7045
The Proposed Committee Bill (PCB) requires the 2020 regular session of the Legislature to convene on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. [NOTE: The PCB was discussed and approved for submission as a committee bill. It has been filed as HB 7045 and will be assigned to committees of reference.]
[toggle title=”Constitution Revision Commission Meetings – January 19, 2018“]
The Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) Education Committee will be meeting, 1:00-6:00 pm. to consider several proposals to amend the Florida Constitution. Several school board members will be present to testify one or more of the proposals. The full Meeting Packet is available HERE. The most notable proposals that will be under consideration include the following:
Proposal 32 – School Board Member Salaries — sponsored by Erika Donalds
This proposal revises Article IX, Sections 2, 4, and 7 of the Florida Constitution. The proposal would require that members of the state board of education, members of district school boards, members of state university boards of trustees, and members of the board of governors would serve without compensation. The proposal allows for members of these boards to be reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses in accordance with state law. [NOTE: This proposal was temporarily postponed in an earlier meeting of the CRC Education Committee. Please see our FSBA Analysis and Key Concepts for Proposal 32 for a summary, background, and talking points on the current version of this proposal but be aware that at least one amendment has been filed for consideration.]
Proposal 71 – Charter School Authorization — sponsored by Erika Donalds
This proposal would amend Article IX, Section 4 of the Florida Constitution. The proposal would authorize the Legislature to enact laws providing alternative processes to authorize the establishment of charter schools in the state. [NOTE: Please see our FSBA Analysis and Key Concepts for Proposal 71 for a summary, background, and talking points on the current version of this proposal but be aware that at least 2 amendments have been filed for consideration.]
Proposal 93 – Education — sponsored by Roberto Martinez
This proposal would amend Article IX, Section 4 of the Florida Constitution. The proposal would authorize the school board of a high performing school district to choose to be designated as a charter district that would be exempt from all provisions of the Florida K-20 Education Code in the same manner as a charter school designated by Florida law. [NOTE: A charter district would remain under the governance of the school board. To qualify, a school district must receive a grade of “B” or better for the last three years and not have had financial resources fall below the state required minimum. To maintain its status as high performing after the initial designation, a school district must maintain a grade of “B” or better for at least two years within a three year period, not fall below a “C” grade, and its financial reserves must not fall below the state required minimum. It is estimated that thirty-eight districts meet district grade requirements in proposal. This proposal essentially re-establishes a program that had been authorized in 1999 that was known as the Charter School Districts Pilot Program.]
Proposal 45 – Public Education — sponsored by Erika Donalds
This proposal would amend Article IX, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution. The proposal specifies that no provision in Article IX may be construed to limit the Legislature from making provision for other educational services that benefit the children and families of this state that are in addition to the system of free public schools.
Proposal 89 – Public Education — sponsored by Nicole Washington
This proposal would amend Article IX, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution. This proposal adds to the existing text of Article IX, Section 1(a) to specify that the purpose and intent of the state’s public education system is to develop the intellect of the state’s citizens, to contribute to the economy, to create an effective workforce, and to prepare students for a job. In addition, the proposal adds Section 1(d) to provide that, in order to build Florida’s talent pipeline for the careers of today and tomorrow and align the state’s education, workforce, and economic development efforts, it is the intent of the people to provide high quality and affordable postsecondary education opportunities.
Proposal 4 – Religious Freedom — sponsored by Roberto Martinez
This proposal revises Article I, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. The proposal would remove the existing prohibition against using public revenues in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or any sectarian institution. [NOTE: Please see our FSBA Analysis and Key Concepts for Proposal 4 for a summary, background, and talking points on the current version of this proposal. No amendments are currently filed for consideration.]
We will report on the outcome of the consideration of these proposals as soon as possible. Also, as noted above, we have created an Analysis and Key Concepts paper on several of the education related proposals including some of those listed above. We are developing an analysis and talking points on the remaining proposals and will post them on our Florida CRC page on the FSBA website as soon as possible.