The third week of the 2017 Legislative Session has seen several bills of interest moving forward in the process. You may wish to review the daily issues of the FSBA Session Spotlight for more details but, for a quick and comprehensive review of this week’s activities, please be sure to watch the FSBA Legislative Weekly Video Update: Week 3. This video features FSBA Member Communications Manager BillieAnne Gay discussing bills that were considered this week, including bills that address assessments, class size requirements, religious expression, immigrations, and school personnel. Ms. Gay also discussed the Constitution Revision Commission which has published the schedule for the first few hearings it will be holding to seek public input. These first meetings will be held in Orange County on March 29, Miami-Dade County on April 6, Palm Beach County on April 7, and Escambia County on April 12. FSBA will be monitoring the meetings and we encourage those of you that are able to attend the meeting in your community. For times and locations of these meetings, please see the schedule on the CRC website.
As another important update, Senator Dorothy Hukill, chair of the Senate Education Committee, has been undergoing treatment for cancer. Although her prognosis is good, she announced on Monday that will be unable to be in Tallahassee during this Legislative Session. In a memo this week, Senate President Joe Negron stated that Senator Hukill will continue to serve as chair of this important committee but he has added Senator Anitere Flores to the Committee membership.
As we mentioned in yesterday’s FSBA Session Spotlight, there were no committee meetings of interest scheduled for today. Please click on the link below to access the schedule for Monday, March 27.
Please note that the meetings listed below may be viewed via live webcast or archived videos on the Florida Channel. Also, for real-time updates on these meetings and other legislative activities, please click HERE to access our Twitter feed.
The House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee will meet (12:30-3:30 pm; 404 HOB) to consider the following items and others:
HB 1007 — Insurer Anti-Fraud Efforts by Raschein
The bill establishes uniform fraud prevention standards applicable to all insurers. The bill requires all insurers, regardless of size, to establish and maintain a fraud investigation unit, or contract for such services, and to submit an anti-fraud plan. The bill specifies required elements of the plan, which include:
- Acknowledgements related to implementation of fraud detection and investigation procedures, mandatory reporting procedures, and anti-fraud education and training;
- Descriptions of the anti-fraud unit and required education and training; and
- The rationale for the anti-fraud unit staffing.
In addition, the bill creates a requirement for insurers to submit fraud-related data on an annual basis. The bill modifies the additional requirements applicable to workers’ compensation insurers to require reporting of the number of cases referred to the Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFS). The bill creates the Dedicated Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Program and provides a statutory framework for the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to administer it. The establishes requirements for the Program and provides that a state attorney’s office seeking funding must submit an application to DFS detailing the number of prosecutors and paralegals requested. Applications are made subject to specified statutory requirements including an interagency agreement that includes certain elements. All funding under the program is contingent upon a legislative appropriation. DFS is authorized to adopt rules to establish a formula for use in allocating grant funds based on trends in insurance fraud and performance and output measures. The bill requires participating state attorneys’ offices to submit performance data and requires DFS to submit an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature regarding the effectiveness of the program. [NOTE: The Subcommittee is expected to take up a Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) for the bill and this short summary reflects the provisions of the PCS. This is the first of three committees of reference for this bill. HB 1007 is linked to HB 1009 which provides a Public Records Exemption for certain insurance fraud information. The Senate companion bill – SB 1012 – is similar and has not been heard in any of three committees of reference (the Senate companion is linked to SB 1014 which provides a similar public records exemption).]
HB 1373 — Public Depositories by J. Grant
The bill revises terms applicable to Florida Security for Public Deposits Act to add credit unions to list of entities that may qualify as “qualified public depository” and specifies conditions that must be met before the Chief Financial Officer may designate a credit union as a qualified public depository. The Chief Financial Officer is authorized to limit, for a certain purpose, the amount of public deposits a credit union may hold. The bill specifies the mutual responsibility and contingent liability of certain credit unions designated as qualified public depositories. In addition, the bill requires the Chief Financial Officer, in administering the Public Deposits Trust Fund, to segregate and separately account for certain proceeds, assessments, or penalties attributable to a credit union from those attributable to a bank, savings bank, or savings association and provides that payment of losses is subject to such limitations. [NOTE: The Subcommittee is expected to take up a Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) for the bill and this short summary reflects the provisions of the PCS. This is the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill – SB 1170 – is similar and has passed one of three committees of reference.]
The House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will meet (12:30-3:30 pm; 17 HOB) to consider the following item and others:
HB 575 — Threats to Kill or Do Bodily Injury by Plasencia
Under current law, it is a second degree felony to create and send certain written threats, including electronic communications, to kill or do bodily harm. Recently, the Second District Court of Appeals issued an opinion highlighting the difficulty of applying the law to threats issued and shared publicly on social media, as such threats may not be communicated directly to any specific person. The bill removes the requirement that the written threat be sent to the person threatened or a member of his or her family so that written threats to kill or do bodily injury to another person which are publicly posted online, even if not specifically sent to or received by the person who is the subject of the threat, will be prohibited. [NOTE: This is the second of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill – SB 260 – is comparable and is scheduled to be heard in the first of four committees of reference on Monday (see Senate Criminal Justice Committee below).]
The House PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee will meet (12:30-3:30 pm; 102 HOB) to consider the following items:
HB 955 — High School Graduation Requirements/Financial Literacy by Ahern
The bill requires students entering grade 9 in the 2017-2018 school year and thereafter to complete a one-half course credit in personal financial literacy rather than receive this instruction as part of the one-half Economics course credit required for graduation. The bill reduces the electives credit requirement from eight credits to seven-and-one-half credits. [NOTE: This is the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion – SB 392 – is similar and has passed two of three committees of reference.]
HB 1229 — Committee on Early Grade Success by Grall
The bill creates the Committee on Early Grade Success, within the Department of Education to develop a proposal for establishing and implementing a coordinated child assessment system for the School Readiness Program, the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program, and the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. The Committee will be comprised of 17 members including representatives of urban and rural school districts. The committee’s proposal must include legislative recommendations for the design and implementation of a coordinated child assessment system, including, but not limited to:
- The purpose of a child assessment, with a focus on developmentally appropriate learning gains.
- Attributes for tool selection that provide guidance on procurement policies.
- An implementation schedule and protocols, including the frequency of data collection and a timeline for training to ensure reliability of the system.
- The methodology for collecting and analyzing data that define reporting requirements.
- A budget for the system, including cost analyses for purchasing materials and the necessary technology, training to ensure reliability, and data system management.
- Considerations for student privacy and tracking child development over time.
The University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning will assist the committee in the performance of its duties. The bill requires the Committee to submit a report of its findings and recommendations by December 1, 2017. Once the report is submitted, the committee expires. The State Board of Education is granted the authority to adopt rules to implement and administer the provisions in the bill. [NOTE: This is the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion – SB 806 — is similar but has not been heard in any of four committees of reference.]
HB 233 — Students with Disabilities in Public Schools by Edwards
The bill amends the use of restraint and seclusion on students with disabilities. Specifically, the bill:
- Defines terms related to seclusion and restraint.
- Replaces the term “manual restraint” with “physical restraint.”
- Provides that physical restraint may be used only to protect students, school personnel or others, or to prevent the destruction of property, but not for disciplining a student. Restraints should be used only when all other strategies and techniques have been exhausted. A student may only be physical restrained for the time necessary for protection.
- Prohibits specified physical restraint techniques.
- Requires school districts to develop policies and procedures to ensure the physical safety and security of all students and school personnel; and requires that students be treated with dignity and respect.
- Outlines under what circumstances seclusion and restraint may not be used.
- Describes the circumstance when time-outs may be used and prohibits certain areas.
- Requires the school to review a student’s functional behavioral assessment and individualized behavior intervention plan when a student is placed in time-out, physically restrained or secluded more than twice in a semester.
- Includes emotional and behavioral disabilities in the list of disabilities for which certain school personnel must be trained to identify for early intervention.
- Adds to staff training effective classroom behavior management strategies such as differential reinforcement, precision commands, minimizing attention or access to other reinforcers, and time-out methods.
- Directs DOE to publish data and analysis relating to incidents of seclusion and restraint on its website.
[NOTE: The Subcommittee is expected to take up a Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) for the bill and this short summary reflects the provisions of the PCS. This is the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill – SB 810 – is similar but has not been heard in any of three committees of reference.]
HB 265 — Computer Coding Instruction by Porter
The bill requires the Articulation Coordinating Committee to develop recommendations that identify, among other things:
- High school courses in computer science, including computer coding and computer programming, which may be used to satisfy state university admissions requirements for math and science;
- Gaps in current policy, curricula, programs, and practices that inhibit students from pursuing postsecondary education and careers in computer science and related fields; and
- Common definitions for terms such as computer coding and computer programming so that stakeholders at all educational levels can use the terms clearly.
The bill requires the Commissioner of Education to establish academic standards for computer science, coding, and programming and identify high school-level courses that incorporate the standards in the Course Code Directory. In addition, the bill requires the Department of Education to annually report to the Board of Governors and the Legislature:
- The courses identified in the Course Code Directory by the commissioner in accordance with the bill;
- The number of students, by district, including the Florida Virtual School, who are enrolled in a course identified in the Course Code Directory by the commissioner in accordance with the PCS; and
- The number of individuals who hold a valid educator certificate in computer science or a related field.
The bill also requires the State Board of Education to work with the Board of Governors and school districts to develop strategies for recruiting and supporting computer science teachers. [NOTE: The Subcommittee is expected to take up a Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) for the bill and this short summary reflects the provisions of the PCS. This is the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill – SB 104 – is comparable to the PCS and has passed the first of two committees of reference.]
HB 989 — Instructional Materials for K-12 Public Education by Donalds
The bill seeks to provide greater transparency in the district-level instructional materials adoption process and more opportunities to review and challenge materials made available to students. The bill:
- Allows parents and residents of the county to provide the district school board evidence that an instructional material for adoption by the district does not meet the state criteria, contains prohibited content, or is otherwise inappropriate or unsuitable;
- Allows county residents to contest the adoption of an instructional material and object to the use of a material made available to students;
- Requires the process for contesting the adoption of an instructional material to provide for an impartial hearing officer;
- Requires school districts to discontinue use of a material found to be inappropriate or unsuitable;
- Requires school districts to provide access to library materials upon written request;
- Requires school districts to maintain a current list of purchased instructional materials on their websites;
- Requires that instructional materials purchased using the instructional materials allocation be on the state-adopted list unless purchased through a district instructional materials program;
- Requires that instructional materials purchased through a district instructional materials program meet the criteria for inclusion in the state-adopted list, be aligned to the state academic standards, and be consistent with course expectations and course descriptions;
- Eliminates the requirement that 50 percent of the instructional materials allocation be used to purchase electronic or digital materials; and
- Clarifies that a school district is responsible for the content of all materials made available to students, including those that may not meet the statutory definition of an instructional material.
The bill also specifies that an instructional material must be free of content that is pornographic or harmful to minors in order to be recommended for inclusion in the state-adopted list and that any material used in a classroom must also be free of such content. [NOTE: The Subcommittee is expected to take up a Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) for the bill and this short summary reflects the provisions of the PCS. This is the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The Senate companion bill – SB 1210 – is similar and will be heard in the first of two committees of reference on Monday (see Senate Education Committee below).]
The Senate Criminal Justice Committee will meet (1:30-3:30 pm; 37 SOB) to consider the following items and others:
SB 260 — Threats to Kill or Do Bodily Injury by Steube
The bill deletes the current statutory requirements that a specific person be directly threatened by a person making a threat through means of a letter, inscribed communication, or electronic communication, and that the specific person actually receive the threat. The bill amends the statute to prohibit a person from making a threat in writing or other record, including an electronic record, to kill or injure another, and posting or transmitting the threat in any manner. [NOTE: This is the first of four committees of reference for this bill. The House companion – HB 575 — is comparable and is being heard in the second of three committees on Monday (see House Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee above).]
The Senate Education Committee will meet (1:30-3:30 pm; 412 KOB) to consider the following items and others:
SB 782 — High School Graduation Requirements by Mayfield
The bill deletes the requirement for students who participate in two full seasons of an interscholastic sport to pass a competency test on personal fitness in order to satisfy the physical education credit required for graduation with a standard high school diploma. [NOTE: This is the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion – HB 6015 — is identical but has not been heard in any of two committees of reference.]
SB 926 — K-12 Student Assessments by Flores
The bill revises several provisions relating to assessment and accountability. Specifically, the bill:
- Requires the Commissioner of Education to review specified college entrance examinations to determine their alignment with the core curricular content for high school level English Language Arts and mathematics established in state standards and to submit a report on the results of the review to the Governor, Legislature, and State Board of Education by December 1, 2017.
- Revises provisions relating to achievement levels to provide that, beginning with any new contract for the ELA assessment and the mathematics assessment entered into after July 1, 2017, achievement level 3 shall be defined as proficient for each new assessment.
- Revises test administration schedules to provide that, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year and with the exception of the grade 3 Reading assessment, the ELA assessment in grades 3 – 10 and the mathematics assessment in grades 3 – 8 must be administered no earlier than during the last 3 weeks of the school year as determined by a district school board’s policy and within a testing window not to exceed 3 weeks.
- Provides that, beginning with any new contract for the ELA assessment and the mathematics assessment entered into after July 1, 2017, each new assessment must be made available once per quarter for students who the school district has identified through competency-based education as having mastered the content and who are prepared to take the applicable assessment.
- Revises the timeframe for the return of text results to provide that a school district must provide a student’s performance results on district-required local assessments to the student’s teachers within 1 week and to the student’s parents no later than 30 days after administering such assessments, unless there are extenuating circumstances identified by the superintendent.
- Requires that the results of statewide, standardized ELA and mathematics assessments must be reported in an easy-to-read and understandable format to each student’s current teacher of record and to each student’s teacher of record for the subsequent school year before the start of that school year. A report of student assessment results must, at a minimum, contain:
- A clear explanation of the student’s performance on the applicable statewide, standardized assessments.
- Information identifying the student’s areas of strength and areas in need of improvement.
- Specific actions that may be taken, and the available resources that may be used, by the student’s parent to assist his or her child based on the student’s areas of strength and areas in need of improvement.
- Longitudinal information, if available, on the student’s progress in each subject area based on previous statewide, standardized assessment data.
- Comparative information showing the student’s score compared to other students in the school district, in the state, or, if available, in other states.
- Predictive information, if available, showing the linkage between the scores attained by the student on the statewide, standardized assessments and the scores he or she may potentially attain on nationally recognized college entrance examinations.
[NOTE: This is the first of two committees of reference for this bill. The House companion – HB 773 — is identical and has passed in one of three committees of reference.]
SB 978 — High School Graduation Requirements by Powell
The bill allows a student to use credit earned upon completion of a registered apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship program registered with the Department of Education to satisfy certain high school credit requirements for graduation with a standard diploma. Specifically, the bill:
- Authorizes the use of credit earned upon completion of a registered apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs to satisfy the credit requirements for courses in fine or performing arts, speech and debate, or practical arts and electives.
- Requires the State Board of Education to approve and identify in the Course Code Directory the registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs from which a student may use earned credit to satisfy such course credit requirements.
[NOTE: This is the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion – HB 525 — is similar and has passed the first of two committees of reference.]
SB 1210 — Instructional Materials for K-12 Public Education by Lee
The bill revises provisions relating to the definition and acquisition of instructional materials. Specifically, the bill:
- Defines the term “instructional materials” to mean systematically arranged content in text, digital, braille and large print, or audio format which may be used within the state curriculum framework for courses of study by a student in a public school.
- Requires a district school board to adopt a policy regarding the right of a parent or person who pays ad valorem property or sales tax in Florida to object to the use of an instructional material based on specified criteria.
- Revises the review process for district school boards that implement their own instructional materials review program.
- Requires district school boards to grant parents and people who pay ad valorem property or sales tax in Florida access to library media services and materials, pursuant to the district policies on campus access and security.
- Authorizes district school boards to lease, license, or otherwise obtain instructional materials.
- Revises the requirement for the district school superintendent to certify to the Florida Department of Education that the instructional materials for core courses are aligned with state standards to also include, as an option, alignment of such materials with standards equivalent to or better than the state standards.
- Revises requirements related to the instructional materials allocation.
[NOTE: This is the first of two committees of reference for this bill. The House companion – HB 989 — is similar and is being heard in its first of three committees of reference on Monday (see PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee above).]
SB 1222 — School Grades by Bradley
Under current law, a school that serves any combination of K-3 students that does not receive a school grade as a result of its students not being tested receives the school grade of a K-3 feeder pattern school if at least 60% of the students are assigned to the graded school. The bill revises the number of students required to establish a school feeder pattern from 60% to a majority. [NOTE: This is the first of three committees of reference for this bill. The House companion bill – HB 781 — is similar and is on the House Calendar on 2nd Reading.]
SB 1290 — Career and Technical Education by Hutson The bill establishes the “CAPE pathway” to mean a sequence of rigorous academic and career courses that lead to industry-recognized certificates or certification and to postsecondary certificates and degrees. Specifically, the bill:
- Requires, beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, each school district to develop at least one CAPE pathway in a regional area of high demand.
- Requires school districts to provide students and their families with electronic access to the CAPE pathways offered by the school district.
- Requires school districts to specify in the CAPE pathway the sequence of rigorous academic and career courses that lead toward industry-recognized certificates or certifications, and transition to a postsecondary certificate or a degree, and identify the occupation that corresponds to the coursework and certificate or certification.
- Requires school districts to allow a parent to enroll his or her child in and transport such child to any school’s CAPE pathway in the school district, subject to class size requirements.
- Requires school districts to ensure that each school within the school district has one career education program specialist to coordinate career programs.
- Requires school district to report, by November 1, 2019, on expected costs to develop a CAPE pathway; and annually by November 1, on CAPE pathway enrollment and success.
- Expands the goals of career and professional academies and career-themed courses to CAPE pathways; and adds to such goals the intent to provide students a map of required coursework to earn an industry-recognized certificate or certification or a postsecondary certificate or degree in this state.
[NOTE: This is the first of three committees of reference for this bill. There is no identified House companion bill.]
The Committee will also have a presentation on Charter Schools and hold a Workshop (discussion and testimony only – no vote to be taken) on the following bills relating to public and private school choice options:
SB 538 — Charter Schools by Clemens
Requiring applicants for charter status to demonstrate that they meet certain needs that the local school district does not, or is unable to, meet; authorizing a charter school to share the results of innovative methods and best practices with the school district, etc.
SB 692 — Student Eligibility for K-12 Virtual Instruction by Baxley
Revising eligibility requirements for specified students to receive part-time instruction at the Florida Virtual School; authorizing all students, including home education and private school students, to participate in specified virtual instruction options; revising the options that a district school board or charter school governing board may offer for a student to satisfy certain online course requirements, etc.
SB 696 — Charter Schools by Baxley
Requiring a sponsor to honor irrevocable instructions by a charter school to deposit certain funds; providing that a charter school that pledges or assigns future payment of its funding is not pledging the credit or taxing power of the state or a school district, etc.
SB 796 — Charter Schools by Bean
Revising charter school contract and funding requirements; authorizing certain entities to apply for designation as a High-Impact Charter Management Organization; requiring the Department of Education to give priority to certain charter schools applying for specified grants, etc.
SB 868 — Educational Options and Services by Baxley
Providing that a participant in an adult or youth work experience activity in the Division of Blind Services is considered an employee of the state for workers’ compensation coverage; revising student eligibility requirements for the Florida Virtual School and virtual instruction programs; requiring an institution that seeks initial approval after a specified date to offer a graduate-level teacher preparation program to offer students certain options, etc.
SB 902 — Gardiner Scholarship Program by Simmons
Revising program eligibility requirements; prohibiting a student who is enrolled in the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind from being eligible for the program; specifying that certain actions of the private school are a basis for program ineligibility; providing an appropriation of $206,000,000.00; etc.
SB 1302 — Private School Student Participation in Extracurricular Activities by Gibson
Revising the eligibility requirements for certain private school students to participate in interscholastic or intrascholastic sports at specified public schools, etc.
SB 1314 — Educational Options by Grimsley
Specifying the Department of Education’s duty to approve or deny an application for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program within a specified time; requiring an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization to allow certain dependent children to apply for a scholarship at any time; revising parent and student responsibilities for program participation; authorizing the Learning Systems Institute to receive compensation for research under certain circumstances; authorizing specified eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations to develop a professional development system, etc.
SB 1362 — K-12 Education by Broxson
Removing a requirement that the Department of Education compare certain charter school student performance data to certain traditional public schools; authorizing certain entities to apply to the State Board of Education for designation as a High-Impact Charter Network; revising the exams each public high school is required to administer to all enrolled 10th grade students to include the preliminary ACT, rather than the ACT Aspire, etc.
SB 1556 – Education by Lee
Prohibiting a district school board from requiring any additional information or verification from a home education program parent under certain circumstances; providing an exception for certain children from the age verification requirements for school attendance; requiring a school and school district to comply with specified provisions before instituting criminal prosecution against certain parents relating to compulsory school attendance, etc.
SB 1572 — Education Savings Account Program by Bean
Authorizing a parent to direct a financial institution trustee of his or her child’s account to use funds for specified costs of attending specified private schools or programs, for participating in a dual enrollment program, or to make a contribution to the child’s college savings plan or to a contract under the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program; specifying eligibility criteria for private schools, private tutors, private tutoring programs, and private postsecondary institutions to participate in the program, etc.
SB 1586 — Student Eligibility for Interscholastic Athletic Competition by Garcia
Revising requirements for the bylaws of the Florida High School Athletic Association governing student eligibility to participate in interscholastic athletic competition; revising the information that must be included on the pre-participation physical evaluation form, etc.