The schedule for the 2nd day of the 60-day Legislative Session may appear to be light, but some very significant issues will be under consideration that are likely to produce lively discussion and debate. Of particular interest, the Senate Education Committee will consider a Proposed Committee Bill (PCB) that addresses expansion of existing scholarship programs, modifications to the Best & Brightest Teachers and Principals Scholarship Program, teacher certification, wrap-around services for turnaround schools, and other issues. Later in the day, the House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee will consider a PCB that addresses one of FSBA’s Legislative Platform priorities: Career Education. Other bills of interest under consideration today address Bright Futures Scholarships, education funding, collective bargaining, graduation ceremonies, public records, and taxation.
The results of today’s committee and subcommittee meetings are posted in the file below. Please note that all of the meetings listed below may be viewed in the Florida Channel Video Library. Also note that:
- 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 to the actual text of the proposed bill
- Clicking on the bill numbers linked below provides access to the bill summary, analysis, related bills, and other information
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In the Senate Education Committee:
PCB 7070 – K-12 Education by Education – PASSED AND FILED AS A COMMITTEE BILL
The bill covers several topics including expansion of existing scholarship programs, modifications to the Best & Brightest Teachers and Principals Scholarship Program, teacher certification, wrap-around services for turnaround schools, and other issues. Several amendments had been filed but all were withdrawn from consideration today, though they may be refiled as the bill progresses through the legislative process. We are working on a more detailed summary of this bill but, in brief, the bill:
- Creates the Family Empowerment Scholarship to help a specified number of students from low-income families attend an eligible private school and to reduce the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship waitlist.
- Authorizes unallocated funds under the Hope Scholarship Program to be used to fund the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship.
- Modifies the Best and Brightest Teachers and Principals Scholarship Programs to provide recruitment, retention, and recognition bonus funds to teachers, and modifying awards to principals based on the academic improvement of schools.
- Modifies teacher certification requirements relating to the general knowledge examination and requiring changes to specified certification examination fees.
- Removes school district requirements relating to an educational plant survey and cost per student station restrictions when only local funds are used for facility construction.
- Modifies funding for wraparound services by establishing a categorical program to help district-managed turnaround schools offer services to improve the academic and community welfare of students and families, subject to a school plan.
- Promotes the expansion of, and funding for, community schools to engage and support parents and community organizations to improve student learning and well-being.
SB 190 – Education/Bright Futures/Industry Certification/FEFP by Stargel – PASSED
The bill has two main elements: First, the bill modifies the requirements associated with the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, including eligibility and renewal requirements. Second, the bill revises funding provisions in the FEFP and for industry certifications as follows:
- Removes the requirement related to prorating the level of appropriation for the federally connected supplement. As a result, the bill allows the school districts to be fully funded under the federally connected student supplement.
- Modifies the formula for the Safe Schools Allocation to require that, after the initial allocation to all school districts, of the remaining balance of the safe schools allocation, one-third (rather than two-thirds) must be allocated to school districts based on the most recent official Florida Crime Index provided by the FDLE and two-thirds (rather than one-third) must be allocated based on each school district’s proportionate share of the state’s total unweighted full-time equivalent student enrollment.
- Saves the funding compression allocation from automatic repeal by removing the July 1, 2019 expiration date.
- Removes the cap on the maximum amount of performance funding for industry certifications to FCS institutions and school district workforce education programs.
In the House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee:
PCB PKI 19-01 – Career Education – PASSED
The bill is intended to help meet growing workforce demand and provide students flexibility and options to pursue advanced career pathways. The bill:
- Revises the school grades formula to recognize career certificate clock hour dual enrollment and establishes formal career dual enrollment agreements between high schools and career centers;
- Allows students with an industry certification to earn two mathematics credits for Algebra I;
- Allows a computer science credit to substitute for a mathematics or science credit and requires a biennial review of career education courses for alignment with high school graduation requirements;
- Requires the Department of Education to provide assistance in increasing public awareness of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities;
- Requires the elimination of industry certifications that are not aligned to industry needs;
- Establishes a “College and Career Decision Day” to recognize high school seniors for their postsecondary education and career plans;
- Doubles the cap on career and professional education (CAPE) Digital Tool certificates the State Board of Education may identify for weighted FTE funding; and
- Reestablishes a middle grades career planning course requirement.
In the House Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee:
SB 13 – Collective Bargaining by Williamson – Amended and PASSED with a Committee Substitute (CS)
As amended, the bill:
- Prohibits a public employee collective bargaining agreement entered into or renewed on or after July 1, 2019, from allowing a public employer to compensate a public employee or third party for employee organization activities or to provide compensated leave time specifically for employee organization activities, thereby prohibiting release time for public employees.
- Defines “employee organization activities” to mean activities that are performed by an employee organization or its members or representatives that relate to advocating the interests of member employees in wages, benefits, terms and conditions of employment, or the enforcement, fulfillment, or advancement of the organization’s organizational purposes, obligations, external relations, or internal policies and procedures.
- Specifies that it does not prohibit a public employee from using his or her compensated leave time for any purpose.
In the Military and Veterans Affairs and Space Committee:
SB 292 – Education/Graduation Ceremony by Lee – Amended and PASSED with a CS
As amended, the bill prohibits a district school board from barring a student from lawfully wearing to his or her graduation ceremony a uniform of any of the Armed Forces of the state or of the United States.
In the Senate Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee:
SB 236 – Public Records and Public Meetings by Book – PASSED
The bill creates a new public records exemption to make confidential and exempt the complaints, referrals, and reports held by any agency1 that allege sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. The bill also creates a new public meetings exemption to exempt proceedings that would reveal records involving alleged sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.
In the House Ways & Means Committee:
PCB WMC 19-01 — Taxation Transparency – PASSED
The bill would rename select state government levies as taxes and would require local governments to rename select local government levies as taxes under specific circumstances.