As we begin the third week of the 2018 Legislative Session, we encourage you to view our Legislative Weekly video that features Andrea Messina providing a recap of the major bills and meetings last week. Today, legislators took up several bills of interest today including bills relating to the Hope Scholarship Program, educational enhancements, school accountability, and juvenile justice. Please click on the link below for our report on the outcome of consideration of these and other bills today. Tomorrow, the House Appropriations Subcommittee chairs will be releasing their budget proposals for their specific budget area (the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee chairs will follow suit on Wednesday). In addition, legislators will consider several bills of interest including bills relating to personalized education, computer science instruction, student transportation, financial literacy, and early learning. Please click on the link below for more information on the schedule and bills that will be considered tomorrow.
[toggle title=”Today’s Happenings – January 22, 2018“]
In the Senate Education Committee meeting:
SB 732 – Home Education by Baxley – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
The bill specifies that a home education program is not a school district program and is registered with the district school superintendent only for the purpose of complying with attendance requirements specified under Florida law. The bill:
- Clarifies the definition of a “parent,” consistent with Florida law. A parent is defined as either or both parents of a student, any guardian of a student, any person in a parental relationship to a student, or any person exercising supervisory authority over a student in place of the parent. The bill requires the:
- Notice submitted by the parent to include the full legal names of all children who will be enrolled as students in the home education program.
- District school superintendent to accept the notice and immediately register the home education program.
- Parent to file a notice of termination upon completion of a home education program with the district school superintendent, and requires the notice to accompany the required annual educational evaluation.
- Specifies that a school district may not require any additional information or verification, assign a grade level to the home education program student, or include a social security number or any other personal information in any database unless the student chooses to participate in a school district program or service.
- Clarifies that the parent determines the content of a portfolio, and provides that a parent must make the portfolio available for inspection, if requested by the district school superintendent or agent.
- Removes the requirement for a district school superintendent to review the annual educational evaluation and must accept the results of an annual education evaluation without a review of such evaluation.
- Provides to home education program students access to courses, programs, industry certifications and assessments. Specifically, the school district:
- May provide access to career and technical education courses and programs, and specifies that home education programs students who participate in such courses and programs may be reported as full-time equivalent students for funding through the Florida Education Finance Program.
- Must make available to home education program students industry certifications, national assessments, and statewide, standardized assessments offered by the school district.
- Must notify home education program students of available certifications, assessments, administrations, and deadlines for the student to notify the district of the student’s intent to participate.
- Specifies that the school district may not further regulate, exercise control over, or require documentation from parents of home education program students beyond the requirements of the law, unless the regulation, control, or documentation is necessary for participation in a school district program.
- Clarifies home education program student participation in such activities under the controlled open enrollment program to:
- Specify that, regardless of the school district’s determination of school capacity, the home education program student must be permitted to enroll in extracurricular courses, which are excluded from maximum class size requirements.
- Remove the requirement that home education program students meet the same residency requirements as other students in the school at which he or she participates.
- Remove the requirement for acceptance in an extracurricular activity from the conditions for home education program students to participate in such activities.
- Specifies that a student must register intent to participate in an extracurricular activity before participation, rather than before the beginning date of the season for the activity.
- Modifies specified provisions in the home education articulation agreement to provide greater access to dual enrollment courses to:
- Specify that any limitations to courses and programs available to home education program students may not exceed the limitations for other dual enrollment students.
- Specify that for initial eligibility a high school grade point average (GPA) may not be required for students who meet specified placement test scores.
- Clarify that a home education program student must meet postsecondary requirements for continued eligibility to participate in dual enrollment, which may include maintenance of a minimum postsecondary GPA.
- Specifies that the district school superintendent may require evidence of the age of any child being enrolled in public school whom he or she believes to be within the limits of compulsory attendance.
- Specifies that the district school superintendent may not require evidence from any child who satisfies attendance requirements by attending a:
- Parochial, religious, or denominational school;
- Private school supported in whole or in part by tuition charges or by endowments or gifts;
- Home education program that meets the requirements specified in law; or
- Private tutoring program that meets the requirements specified in law.
- Authorizes an intervention prior to the district school superintendent taking steps to initiate criminal prosecution. If a notice and requirement for enrollment or attendance is ignored, the district school superintendent may refer the case to a child study team at the school that the student would be assigned according to district school board attendance policies.
- Requires the child study team to be diligent in facilitating intervention services, and report the case to the district school superintendent only when all reasonable efforts to resolve the non-enrollment behavior are exhausted.
- Specifies that if the parent continues to refuse to cooperate or enroll the child in school, the district school superintendent must take the steps necessary to bring criminal prosecution against the parent.
- Clarifies that court procedures and penalties for non-enrollment or nonattendance may not be initiated against the student’s parent until the school and school district have complied with the policies and procedures established to enforce school attendance.
- Updates cross references relating to home education annual evaluations, portfolios as evidence of school attendance, and participation in the Gardiner Scholarship Program.
[NOTE: Today’s amendments were technical and clarifying in nature. This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill — HB 731 – is similar and has passed one of three committees of reference.]
SB 1156 – Missing Persons with Special Needs by Perry — PASSED
The bill expands “Project Leo” statewide to all Centers for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) in the State University System to aid search-and-rescue efforts for persons with special needs in case of elopement. Additionally, the bill:
- Makes the University of Florida responsible for developing eligibility criteria for the selection of participants for all CARD programs throughout the state.
- Removes obsolete reporting requirements related to program implementation and operation.
- Extends the project from June 30, 2018, to June 30, 2019.
[NOTE: This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill — HB 591 – is similar and has passed one of three committees of reference.]
SB 1172 – Hope Scholarship Program by Galvano – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A CS
The bill creates the Hope Scholarship Program (HSP) to provide the parent of a public school student who was the victim of a substantiated incident of violence or abuse an opportunity to transfer the student to another public school or to request and receive from the state a scholarship for the student to enroll in and attend an eligible private school. In addition, the bill:
- Defines relevant terms.
- Specifies eligibility criteria so that, beginning with the 2018-2019 46 school year, contingent upon available funds, and on a first-47 come, first-served basis, a student enrolled full time in a Florida public school in kindergarten through grade 12 is eligible for a scholarship under this program if all of the following conditions are met:
- The student is the victim of a substantiated incident of battery; harassment; hazing; bullying; kidnapping; physical attack; robbery; sexual offenses, harassment, assault, or battery; threat or intimidation; or fighting at school.
- The incident is formally reported by the victim or the victim’s parent to the principal.
- Through an investigation, the principal finds that the incident is substantiated.
- The principal’s investigation remains open or the district’s resolution of issues related to the incident remain unresolved after timely notification, deliberative evaluation, and 30 days of responsible and appropriate action taken as defined in the bill.
- Provides that payment of a scholarship may not be made if a student is:
- Enrolled in a public school;
- Enrolled in a school operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in the DJJ commitment programs;
- Participating in a virtual school, correspondence school, or distance learning program that receives state funding unless the participation is limited to no more than two courses per school year;
- Receiving any other educational scholarship; or
- Participating in a home education program.
- Provides a procedure and timelines for reporting and investigating a formal report of an incident to determine if the incident is substantiated or unsubstantiated.
- Provides that an eligible private school may be sectarian or nonsectarian and shall:
- Meet the definition of a private school and comply with all requirements for private schools participating in state school choice scholarship programs.
- Provide to the organization and the department, upon request, all documentation required for the student’s participation, including, but not limited to, the private school’s and the student’s fee schedules.
- Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting the educational needs of the student.
- Requires the Department of Education (DOE) to:
- Establish a toll-free hotline that provides parents and private schools with information on participation in the program.
- Annually verify the eligibility of private schools.
- Require an annual notarized and sworn compliance statement by participating private schools certifying compliance with state laws and retain such records.
- Cross-check the list of participating students with the public school enrollment lists and participation lists in other scholarship programs before each scholarship payment.
- Maintain a list of nationally norm-referenced tests identified for purposes of satisfying specified testing requirements.
- Require quarterly reports by an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization (SFO) regarding the number of students participating in the scholarship program, the private schools in which the students are enrolled, and other information.
- Contract with an independent entity to provide an 222 annual evaluation of the program.
- Upon the request of a participating private school, provide at no cost to the school the statewide assessments administered and any related materials for administering the assessments.
- Establish a process by which individuals may notify the department of any violation by a parent, private school, or school district of state laws relating to program participation.
- Conduct site visits to participating private schools.
- Annually, by December 15, report to the Governor and legislative leaders the department’s actions with respect to implementing accountability in the program under this section 303 and s. 1002.421, any substantiated allegations or violations of 304 law or rule by an eligible private school under this program and 305 the corrective action taken by the department.
- Authorizes the Commissioner of Education to deny, suspend, or revoke a private school’s participation in the program and to immediately suspend scholarship fund payments under specified circumstances.
- Provides parent and student responsibilities for program participation similar to those for other scholarship programs.
- Provides SFO obligations similar to those for other scholarship programs.
- Provides that the maximum amount awarded to a student enrolled in an eligible private school shall be determined as a percentage of the unweighted FTE funding amount for that state fiscal year and thereafter as follows:
- Eighty-eight percent for a student enrolled in kindergarten through grade 5.
- Ninety-two percent for a student enrolled in grade 6 through grade 8.
- Ninety-six percent for a student enrolled in grade 9 through grade 12.
- Provides that the maximum amount awarded to a student enrolled in a Florida public school located outside of the district in which the student resides shall be $750.
- Authorizes an SFO that meets certain requirements to use up to 3 percent of eligible contributions for administrative expenses.
- Prohibits a SFO from charging an application fee.
- Requires the Auditor General to conduct an annual operational audit of each scholarship-funding organization that participates in the HSP.
- Specifies that the HSP is funded by taxpayers who make an eligible contribution, limited to a single $20 payment, at the time of a vehicle purchase or registration in Florida and authorizes a credit of 100 percent of the amount of such eligible contribution by the taxpayer against the sales and use tax on the vehicle purchase or registration.
- Provides that a person who, with intent to unlawfully deprive or defraud the program of its moneys or the use or benefit thereof, fails to remit a contribution collected is guilty of theft of charitable funds and specifies punishment depending upon the amount of the theft.
[NOTE: The Committee took up and passed a strike-all amendment that substantially revised the bill. We are still reviewing the lengthy strike all amendment, but have tried to capture the main points of the revised bill in the summary above. This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill – HB 1 – is similar and has passed one of three committees of reference. HB 1 is a priority of House Speaker Corcoran.]
SB 1286 – The Gardiner Scholarship by Simmons — PASSED
The bill revises the definition of a rare disease for the purposes of the Gardiner Scholarship Program. Specifically, the bill specifies that a rare disease is a disorder that affects patient populations of 200,000 individuals or fewer, and conforms the definition of a rare disease to the definition as defined by the Orphan Drug Act. [NOTE: This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. There is no direct House companion bill.]
SB 1434 – K-12 Education Enhancements by Passidomo – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A CS
- Revises the definition of “Persistently low-performing school” to mean a school that has completed 2 school years of a district-managed turnaround plan and has not improved its school grade to a “C” or higher (rather than “earned three consecutive grades lower than a “C”).
- Revises the definition of “School of hope” to mean a charter school operated by a hope operator which serves students from one or more persistently low-performing schools, is located in the attendance zone of a persistently low-performing school (deleting “or within a 5-mile radius of such school, whichever is greater”) and is a Title I eligible school, or a school operated by a hope operator.
- Revises the notice of intent that a hope operator seeking to open a school of hope by adding that the notice must include the specific (rather than proposed) location or geographic area proposed for the school and its proximity to the persistently low-performing school or the plan to use the district-owned facilities of the persistently low-performing school and that the notice must include an operations plan specifying the operator’s intent to undertake the operations of the persistently low-performing school in its entirety or through limited components of the operations.
- Provides that a school of hope that is operated by a hope operator and that receives funds from the hope supplemental services allocation shall use the district-owned facilities of the persistently low-performing school that the school of hope operates. A school of hope that uses district-owned facilities must comply with the State Requirements for Educational Facilities only if the school district and the hope operator have entered into a mutual management plan for the reasonable maintenance of the facilities. The mutual management plan must contain a provision specifying that the district school board agrees to maintain the school facilities in the same manner as other public schools within the district.
- Provides that a traditional public school that is required to submit a plan for implementation pursuant to s. 1008.33(4) is eligible to receive funding for services authorized from the hope supplemental services allocation (deletes “up to $2,000 per full-time equivalent student” and cap on the number of traditional public schools that may qualify).
- Provides that a district-managed turnaround plan may include a proposal for the district to implement an extended school day, a summer program, or a combination of an extended school day and summer program.
- Creates “franchise model schools” defined as a persistently low-performing school which is led by a highly effective principal in addition to the principal’s currently assigned school and provides that a school district that has one or more persistently low-performing schools may use a franchise model school as a school turnaround option.
- Revises student eligibility for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program to:
- Provide that a student who initially receives a scholarship based on eligibility remains eligible to participate until the student graduates from high school or attains 21 years of age, whichever occurs first, regardless of the student’s household income level.
- Provide that a student who currently attends, or attended in the previous academic year, a persistently low-performing school who initially receives a scholarship remains eligible to participate as long as his or her zoned school retains its status as a persistently low-performing school, but other eligible students will have priority over such a student.
- Renames the “collegiate high school program” as the “structured high school acceleration program” and:
- Provides that the structured program must prioritize dual enrollment courses that are applicable toward general education core courses or common prerequisite course requirements over dual enrollment courses applicable as electives.
- Provides that a district school board may not limit the number of eligible public school students who may enroll in such structured programs.
- Provides that, by September 1 of each school year, each district school board must notify each student enrolled in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 in a public school within the school district about the structured program.
- Provides that a charter school may execute a contract directly with the local Florida College System institution or another authorized institution to establish a structured program at a mutually agreed upon location.
- Provides that a student who enrolls in the structured program and successfully completes a specified number of college credit hours generates an FTE bonus.
- Creates the hope supplemental services allocation within the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) to provide district-managed turnaround schools, charter schools, district-managed charter schools, schools of hope, and franchise model schools with funds to offer services designed to improve the overall academic and community welfare of the schools’ students and their families.
- Establishes the mental health assistance allocation within the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) to provide funds for school-based mental health programs and specifies that the purpose of the allocation is to provide supplemental funding to assist school districts in establishing or expanding comprehensive school-based mental health programs.
- Modifies the eligibility requirements and calculation methodology for specified charter school capital outlay provisions, revises the amount of discretionary millage that a school district may expend for specified purposes, and prohibits a charter school from being eligible for capital outlay funds unless the chair of the governing board and the chief administrative officer of the charter school annually certify certain information.
[NOTE: The Committee took up and passed a strike-all amendment that substantially revised provisions relating to schools of hope. We are still reviewing the lengthy strike all amendment, but have tried to capture the main points of the revised bill in the summary above. This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. There is no direct House companion bill.]
SB 1548 – K-12 Student Safety by Book
The bill modifies Florida law regarding educator certification requirements and district school board duties relating to school safety. Specifically, the bill:
- Expands the applicability of certain employment disqualification criteria to include all positions that require direct contact with students.
- Grants the Department of Education and the Education Practices Commission additional authority to enforce the educator certification requirements and impose penalties against persons who do not comply with certification requirements.
- Requires the holder of a Florida educator certification to agree to inform his or her employer within 48 hours if arrested for any disqualifying offense while employed in a position that requires the certification.
- Provides that persons employed as part-time teachers by the district school board are not exempt from the certification requirements for all school-based personnel.
- Specifies that an adjunct teaching certificate may not be used to fulfill the certification requirements for a person who is employed and renders service as an athletic coach in any public school in Florida.
[NOTE: Today’s amendment deleted an exemption from required background screening. The short summary above reflects the provisions of the bill as amended. This was the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill — HB 777 – is similar but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
SB 1618 – Education by Hukill — PASSED
The bill deletes an obsolete July 1, 2007, deadline for the Florida Department of Education to develop and operate an electronic individual education plan (IEP) for statewide use. [NOTE: This was the first of TWO committees of reference for this bill. There is no direct House companion bill.]
SB 1756 – School Accountability by Simmons – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A CS
The bill strengthens the accountability provisions for private schools that participate in state school choice scholarship programs, and applies such provisions consistently to the participating schools. Specifically, the bill:
- Expands the number of site visits to private schools that the Department of Education (DOE or department) must make and the scope of such visits to require the DOE to:
- Annually visit at least 5 percent of private schools participating in state scholarship programs, with opportunities for follow-up visits.
- Visit each private school that notifies the department of the school’s intent to participate in a state scholarship program.
- Modifies the teacher qualification requirements for private schools that participate in state scholarship programs to require:
- That the teachers teaching students in grade 1 or below hold baccalaureate or higher degrees, have at least 3 years of teaching experience in public or private schools, or have objectively identified special skills, knowledge, or expertise that qualifies them to provide instruction in subjects taught.
- That teachers teaching students in grade 2 or above hold baccalaureate or higher degrees from a university or college that is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education.
- The private schools to report to the DOE, specified information regarding the qualifications of each teacher hired by such schools.
- Requires the Division of State Fire Marshall to annually provide to the DOE, a report of fire safety inspections of private schools that participate in a state scholarship program.
- Requires a private school that receives more than $250,000 in funds from any state scholarship program in a state fiscal year to provide to the DOE a specified financial report from an independent certified public accountant.
- Specifies that a private school is ineligible to participate in a state scholarship program if the owner or operator of the private school was a debtor in a voluntary or involuntary bankruptcy petition within the most recent 5 years.
[NOTE: Today’s amendment revised teacher qualifications. The short summary above reflects the provisions of the bill as amended. This was the first of four committees of reference. There is no direct House companion bill.]
[toggle title=”Coming up Tomorrow – January 23, 2018“]
The House Gov’t Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee will meet, 9:00 – 11:00 am, to consider the following item and others:
GOT2 – Statewide Travel Management System by GOTA
The bill amends statutes pertaining to per diem and travel expenses of public officers, employees, and authorized persons, codifying current travel expenditure limits into law and providing for the public reporting of travel expenditures. Specifically, the bill:
- Limits to $150 the amount that may be reimbursed per day for travel lodging expenses for employees of state agencies and the judicial branch under certain circumstances;
- Establishes the Statewide Travel Management System (system) in law;
- Requires all executive branch state government agencies and the judicial branch to report public officer and employee travel information in the system;
- Requires that all executive branch state government agencies and the judicial branch use the system for purposes of travel authorization and reimbursement.
- Requires “reporting entities”, which are defined in the bill to include municipalities, counties, local constitutional officers, county school districts, state colleges, state universities, and water management districts, to report monthly, all public officer and employee travel information resulting from an overnight stay in the system;
- Establishes a timeline for the Department of Management Services (DMS) to make travel reports for executive branch state government agencies, the judicial branch, and certain reporting entities available for public view;
- Requires reporting entities to redact confidential and exempt information from travel reports prior to posting them to the system and provides a process for reporting entities to follow when a travel report has been posted prior to proper redaction; and,
- Provides rulemaking authority to the DMS to administer provisions of the section pertaining to the system.
The House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee will meet, , 9:00 – 11:00 am, to consider the following items:
HB 839 – Display of the State Motto by Daniels
The bill requires each district school board to adopt rules that require all schools and all buildings used by the school board to display in a conspicuous place the state motto: In God We Trust.
HB 1035 – Personalized Education by Sullivan
- Renames the Competency-Based Education Pilot Program to the Mastery-Based Education Pilot Program.
- Allows any district in the state to submit an application to DOE to participate.
- Authorizes districts participating in the pilot program to use an alternative interpretation of letter grades to measure student success in grades 6-12. The alternate system must meet specific requirements and be approved by the district school board.
- Allows districts to determine and award one full credit toward high school graduation based on the student’s mastery of core content and skills without meeting the current minimum requirement of 135 or 120 hours of bona fide instruction to award one full credit.
- Requires the statewide articulation agreement to ensure fair and equitable access for high school graduates with mastery-based, nontraditional diplomas and transcripts.
HB 1213 – Computer Science Instruction by Porter
- Defines computer science and includes computer coding and programming in the definition;
- Requires the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to identify computer science courses in the Course Code Directory and on its website by July 1, 2018;
- Establishes a progressive schedule by which school districts must offer computer science courses identified by the DOE so that at least 10 percent of a school district’s total middle schools, high schools, and combination schools with grades 6-12 offer a computer science course by the 2020-2021 school year;
- Specifies that school districts with fewer than 10 middle schools, high schools, and combination schools must have at least one school offer an identified computer science course by the 2020-2021 school year;
- Requires Florida Virtual School (FLVS) to offer computer science courses so students enrolled in a school without a computer science course can receive computer science instruction;
- Requires school districts to offer students access to computer science courses through FLVS or by other means;
- Allows student enrollment in computer science courses offered by charter schools and FLVS to count toward a district’s computer science course requirements;
- Establishes a grant program to help teachers earn a computer science educator certificate or industry certification and for paying associated examination fees;
- Establishes a bonus program to award qualifying teachers, on a yearly basis for up to 3 years, who teach computer science courses identified by the DOE;
- Establishes a needs-based technology grant for school districts whose Digital Classrooms Allocation funds are insufficient to meet costs associated with the allocation and who have no remaining instructional materials; and
- Requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules to implement these provisions.
HB 1299 – Public School Transportation by Raburn
- Requires districts to provide transportation to students whose homes are more than 1.5 miles from the nearest appropriate school, rather than students whose homes are “more than a reasonable distance” or are 2 miles or more from the school and authorizes districts to report these students for transportation funding to the state.
- Allows all students in grades K-12 to be transported and funded if they are subject to hazardous walking conditions.
- Revises criteria for determining hazardous walking conditions with regard to the number of lanes and speed limits.
- Requires the superintendent to request a review of specified roads if he or she receives a written request from a parent of a student in the district school.
- Requires, rather than authorizes, a district school board to initiate a proceeding to determine whether a condition constitutes a hazardous walking condition, if the governmental representatives were unable to reach a consensus on the initial request.
HB 829 – The McKay Scholarships by Plasencia
The bill extends McKay Scholarship eligibility to students who receive a diagnosis of a qualifying disability from a licensed physician or psychologist and to students who are enrolled and counted for funding in a public school’s October or February FEFP survey immediately prior to participation, instead of enrollment for an entire school year. In addition, the bill requires parents to provide school districts with documentation of a physician’s diagnosis of a student’s disability and requires school districts to notify the Department of Education of receipt of the diagnosis when the parent requests a McKay Scholarship from the school district.
The House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee will meet, 12:00 – 3:00 pm, to consider the following item:
Chair’s Budget Proposal for FY 2018-2019
The House PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee will meet, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, to consider the following items:
HB 951 – Education/Early Learning/VPK by Fischer
- Requires each provider to give parents the results of the pre- and post-assessments, including any resources that might be helpful to their students within 10 days after the assessments are administered. The results must be reported at the aggregate level, distributed to the respective ELC and district and displayed on the OEL’s webpage 30 days after the assessments are administered.
- Authorizes a child who has completed a VPK program, but is determined to be at risk of not attaining the adopted performance standards, to reenroll in a school-year VPK program offered by a provider that has met the minimum readiness standards.
- Establishes OEL requirements to ensure the implementation of student reenrollment.
HB 1091 – Early Learning by Grall
The bill revises provisions related to the School Readiness program by:
- Expanding the definition of “at-risk” for eligibility purposes;
- Requiring OEL to adopt program assessment requirements that measure teacher-child interactions;
- Requiring OEL to revise the statewide provider contract to include contracted slots and quality improvement strategies, if applicable, and program assessment requirements;
- Requiring OEL to coordinate with the Department of Children and Families to triennially evaluate accrediting agencies under the Gold Seal Quality Care program and provide a 20 percent payment differential for accredited School Readiness providers who meet certain criteria;
- Requiring OEL’s annual report to include certain program assessment information;
- Requiring ELCs to establish local eligibility priorities and include them in their biennial School Readiness plans;
- Requiring an ELC’s biennial plan to include procedures for the use of contracted slots, a description of quality improvement strategies, and the results of a community needs assessment;
- Requiring School Readiness providers to participate in a program assessment and quality improvement strategies, as required; and
- Allows for the awarding of grants and financial supports to providers and instructors to meet program assessment requirements.
HB 323 – High School Graduation Requirements/Financial Literacy by Fitzenhagen
The bill eliminates financial literacy instruction from the one-half credit economics requirement and establishes a one-half credit financial literacy course as an additional elective. The bill requires students to be provided an opportunity to learn personal financial literacy, which must include topics such as opening and managing a bank account; balancing a checkbook; completing a loan application; computing federal income taxes; simple contracts; types of savings and investments; and state and federal finance laws.
The House Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee will meet, 3:30 – 6:30 pm, to consider the following items and others:
HB 79 – Public Meetings by Roth
- Defines “de facto meeting” as the use of board or commission staff or third parties, acting as intermediaries, to facilitate a discussion of public business between or among board or commission members.
- Clarifies that de facto meetings are subject to the Sunshine Law.
- Specifies that members of the same board or commission may participate in fact-finding exercises or excursions to research public business, and may participate in meetings with a member of the Legislature, if:
- The board or commission provides reasonable notice;
- A vote, an official act, or an agreement regarding an action at a future meeting 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.
- 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.
HB 977 – Retirement of Instructional and Administrative Personnel by Fine
The bill provides that effective July 1, 2018, instructional personnel who are authorized to extend Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) participation beyond the 60-month period must have a termination date that is the last day of the last calendar month of the school year within the DROP extension granted by the employer. For those employees who have already extended DROP on or before July 1, 2018, the member’s DROP participation may be extended through the last day of the last calendar month of that school year. The employer must notify the division of the change in termination date and the additional period of DROP participation for the affected instructional personnel. In addition, administrative personnel in grades K-12 who have a DROP termination date on or after July 1, 2018, may be authorized to extend DROP participation beyond the initial 60 calendar month period if the administrative personnel’s termination date is before the end of the school year. Such administrative personnel may have DROP participation extended until the last day of the last calendar month of the school year in which their original DROP termination date occurred.
The House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee will meet, 3:30 – 6:30 pm, to consider the following items:
Chair’s Budget Proposal for FY 2018-2019
PKA1 – PreK-12 Education Funding by PreK-12 Appropriations
The bill conforms applicable statutes to the appropriations provided in the House proposed General Appropriations Act for Prekindergarten through grade 12 education for Fiscal Year 2018-2019. The bill:
- Modifies the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) by:
- Deleting the requirement that the 300 lowest-performing elementary schools on the statewide reading assessment must use their portion of the Supplemental Academic Instruction (SAI) allocation to implement an extra hour of reading instruction.
- Requiring that schools who earned a grade of “D” or “F” pursuant to s. 1008.33, F.S., use their portion of the SAI allocation to implement the required intervention and support strategies for school improvement as listed in current law.
- Requiring that for the Research-based Reading Instruction allocation only a school that earned a grade of “D” or “F” pursuant to s. 1008.33, F.S., must submit a comprehensive reading plan for review and approval by the Department of Education as part of the department’s monitoring, intervention, and support strategies required under s. 1008.33, F.S.
- Requiring that for the Research-based Reading Instruction allocation the designation of the 300 lowest-performing elementary schools on the statewide reading assessment be based on a three-year average of the assessment data.
- Modifies the Principal Autonomy Pilot Program Initiative by:
- Expanding the program to all school districts who apply and receive approval by the State Board of Education and deleting the term “pilot”.
- Basing participation in the program upon available funds and on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Deleting the specific appropriation amount for school districts’ attendance at a national recognized school turnaround training program and making the provision subject to an annual appropriation.
- Deleting the reporting requirement upon completion of the first 3-year pilot term.
- Clarifies the calculation methodology for the distribution of the discretionary 1.5 millage revenue to eligible charter schools by clarifying that the debt service obligation that can be reduced from the distribution is the debt service obligation incurred by March 1, 2017, which has not been subsequently retired.
- Allows for the carry forward of undisbursed Schools of Hope Program funds for up to five years.
The Senate Community Affairs Committee will meet, 3:30 – 5:30 pm, to consider the following item and others:
SB 858 – Daylight Saving Time by Steube
The bill exempts the State of Florida and all of its political subdivisions from daylight saving time and requires that the state and its political subdivisions observe standard time.
The Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee will meet, 3:30 – 5:30 pm, to consider the following item and others:
SB 1240 – Retirement of Instructional and Administrative Personnel by Mayfield
The bill revises time limits for certain public employees who qualify to participate in the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP). Specifically, the bill modifies the DROP for instructional and administrative personnel in grades K-12 to prevent potential classroom disruption due to the maximum participation date being reached during the school year.
The Health Policy Committee will meet, 3:30 – 5:30 pm, to consider the following item and others:
SB 1680 – Immunization Registry by Montford
The bill requires certain health care practitioners to report vaccination administration data to the Department of Health (DOH) immunization registry when vaccinating children or students at student health care facilities at a Florida College System institution or state university. The bill removes a parent’s or guardian’s ability to opt a child out of the immunization registry.
The reporting of the vaccination data to the registry for other persons is permitted, but not required. The bill also requires school boards, and private school governing bodies, to establish and enforce a policy requiring that, before a child may attend a public or private school, they must have on file a Florida Certification of Immunization (FCI) with the DOH immunization registry. Currently the policy may allow submission of an FCI in paper form.