Today’s schedule called for consideration of the Senate’s school safety bill – SB 7030 – this afternoon in the Senate Infrastructure & Security Committee but there was not sufficient time for discussion, public testimony, and debate of the bill. Committee Chair, Tom Lee, apologized and rescheduled consideration of the bill for Tuesday, March 26. However, several other bills and issues of interest were considered today including consideration of education budgets in both the House and Senate, consideration of proposed budget conforming bills as well as bills relating to curriculum, impact fees, and local referenda. Today’s schedule is posted below and is updated to show the outcome on these bills.
- Clicking on the Committee/Subcommittee names linked below provides access to membership, meeting packets, and other committee information
- Clicking on the PCBs linked below provides access the actual text of the proposed bill
- Clicking on the bill numbers linked below, you can access the bill summary, analysis, related bills, and other information
In the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee:
HB 807 – Civics Education by Aloupis – PASSED
The bill requires that all instructional materials for the civics education course required for middle school students be reviewed by the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship and approved by the Commissioner of Education.
PCB PKA 19-01 — Education Funding Conforming Bill – PASSED, FILED AS HB 5101
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 2019-2020. The bill:
- Modifies current school choice scholarship programs by:
- Revising the calculation methodology for scholarship award amount for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and the Hope Scholarship Programs;
- Allowing eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations (SFOs) to use eligible contributions received pursuant to ss. 212.099, 212.1832, 1002.395, and 1002.40, F.S., during the fiscal year for administrative expenses and specifying that such expenses may not exceed 3 percent of the total amount of all scholarships awarded by the SFOs under chapter 1002, F.S.
- Limiting the amount of contributions for the Hope Scholarship Program that an eligible nonprofit SFO may carry forward up to 5 percent of net eligible contributions with any contributions in excess of the 5 percent carry forward required to be transferred to another eligible nonprofit SFO or if another SFO does not participate in the Hope Scholarship Program, the eligible contributions may be used to fund Florida Tax Credit scholarships.
- Prioritizing the recipients awarded a Florida Tax Credit scholarship beginning in Fiscal Year 2019-2020.
- Renaming the Florida Sales Tax Credit Scholarship Program and requiring the use of the contributions to fund Florida Tax Credit scholarships.
- Modifies certain allocations funded in the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) by:
- Deleting the requirement that school districts with one or more of the 300 lowest-performing elementary schools on the statewide reading assessment use their Supplemental Academic Instruction allocation on an additional hour each day of intensive reading instruction.
- Making the above-mentioned requirement permissive rather than mandatory for the Research-based Reading Instruction allocation.
- Requiring the Office of Economic and Demographic Research to develop each school district’s wage level index for purposes of calculating the district cost differential.
- Including the Florida best and brightest teacher allocation and the Florida best and brightest principal allocation in the calculation of the Virtual Education Contribution.
- Modifies the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program by:
- Deleting the provision of the program that provides a $6,000 award for classroom teachers who are rated “highly effective” and who scored at or above the 80th percentile nationally on either the SAT or the ACT at the time the assessment was taken; and
- Increasing the yearly bonuses to $2,000 for each classroom teacher rated “highly effective” and up to $1,100 for each classroom teacher rated “effective”.
The Subcommittee Chair, Chris Latvala, also released his education budget proposal for FY 2019-2020. A few key highlights include:
- Total FEFP funding at $21,638,645,987, an increase of 579,337,643 (2.75%) over the current year
- Base Student Allocation set at $4,242.763, an increase of $38.34 (0.91%) over the current year which generates Base Funding at $13,261,760,629, an increase of $251,614,699 (1.93%) over the current year
- Required Local Effort at $7,856,894,243, an increase of more than $143 million (1.86%) over the current year (This reflects a partial roll-back of the Required Local Effort millage rate)
- Total FEFP funds per student at $7,596.58, an increase of $167.79 (2.26%) over the current year
- Safe Schools funding at $161,956,019, equal to the allocation for the current year
- Mental Health Assistance funding at $69,237,286, equal to the allocation for the current year
- Funds a revised Best & Brightest Teacher/Principal bonus program at nearly $269 million, an increase of $35 million over the current year (formerly funded as a non-FEFP item; revised as set forth in HB 5101)
- Eliminates the Funding Compression Allocation, a reduction of $56.8 million below the current year
- In addition to these listed allocations, funding for certain private school scholarship programs will be funded through the FEFP
The key allocations in House FEFP allocations are generally lower than those proposed by the Senate (outlined in the March 19 issue of the Session Spotlight). These funding and policy differences (and other budget elements) will form the basis of the ongoing education budget negotiations between the two chambers. We are in the process of preparing a side-by-side comparison of these House and Senate education budget proposals. In the meantime, please keep in mind that it is still early in the budget development process and adjustments are likely to be made in the coming weeks.
In the Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee:
SB 190 – Education/Bright Futures by Stargel – PASSED
The bill modifies the requirements associated with the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program (Bright Futures program), and removes restrictions in current law regarding funding for the operation of schools and performance funding for industry certifications.
- With regard to the Bright Futures program, the bill:
- Removes the requirement that students enroll in a Florida postsecondary education institution within 2 years of graduation from high school.
- Eliminates the 45-credit hour annual restriction in the award of a scholarship.
- Specifies the eligibility of a student, who enrolls in the pilot program at the University of Florida, to receive an award during the fall term.
- Codifies the existing State Board of Education rule that allows Florida private school graduates to meet the high school credential-specific eligibility criterion.
- Extends the annual deadline, from August 31 to December 31, for when a student who graduates from high school midyear must apply for the scholarship.
- Revises the examination score requirements for award eligibility to align the SAT and ACT examination scores with the SAT national percentile rank specified in law; and requires the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to publish ongoing updates to the examination scores.
- With regard to school funding in the Florida Education Finance Program, the bill:
- Removes the requirement to prorate the federally connected supplement so that eligible districts may be provided the full amount.
- Modifies the safe school allocation formula to require the remaining balance be calculated based on two-thirds allocated from each school district’s proportionate share of the state’s total unweighted full-time equivalent student enrollment and one-third allocated based on the most recent official Florida Crime Index to align the funding with school district security needs.
- Places the funding compression allocation in permanent law.
- With regard to industry certification performance funding, the bill removes the $15 million annual cap for both Florida College System institutions and school district workforce education programs.
The Subcommittee continued their discussion of its proposed 2019-2020 education budget and released additional documents that included and outline of non-FEFP funding, early learning/VPK funding, post-secondary funding, and preliminary budget/proviso language. The meeting packet containing these documents is available HERE.
In the Senate Finance & Tax Committee:
SB 144 – Impact Fees by Gruters – PASSED
The bill prohibits local governments from requiring the payment of impact fees prior to issuing the property’s building permit. The bill also codifies the ‘dual rational nexus test’ for impact fees, as articulated in case law. This test requires an impact fee to have a reasonable connection, or rational nexus, between:
- The proposed new development and the need and the impact of additional capital facilities, and
- The expenditure of funds and the benefits accrued to the proposed new development.
The bill provides for earmarking impact fee funds for capital facilities that benefit new residents and prohibiting the use of impact fee revenues to pay existing debt unless specific conditions are met.
SB 336 – Local Tax Referenda by Brandes – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A CS
The bill provides that a referendum to adopt or amend a local option discretionary sales surtax must be held at a general election.
SB 7048 – Disclosure of Confidential Records by CFEA — PASSED
The bill requires that, when a patient communicates a specific threat against an identifiable individual to a mental health service provider, the provider must release information from the clinical record of the patient sufficient to inform the threatened individual. The provider must also inform law enforcement of the threat. The bill provides immunity from civil or criminal liability to the administrator of a mental health facility, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other treatment providers who disclose information conveyed to them by a patient communicating a threat to a specific, readily identifiable third party.